Letter: Tobacco prevention funds are critical to health

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Friday, February 8, 2013 | Terrie Atwood, Marathon | Categories:
At the state level, tough decisions are being made on budgets and funding cuts. We know that reducing tobacco use saves lives, and comprehensive programs to educate youth on smoking and help adults quit are proven to work. From 2000 to 2010, the New York State Tobacco Control program drove the prevalence of high school smokers down from 27.1 percent to 12.6 percent, and there was a 6 percent decrease in adult smoking. In New York, upstate residents have a much higher than state-average smoking rates. Yet during the current fiscal year, New York will spend only 16 percent of the amount recommended by the Centers for Disease Control on smoking education. Limited funding prevents Tobacco use prevention and control programs from reaching the most vulnerable populations with the highest rates of smoking. By increasing spending for New York's tobacco control program, we can save lives and money because of health care costs.
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