The first Great American Smokeout was held on the third Thursday in November, in 1977. And on the event’s 39th anniversary, a leading anti-cancer group says Gov. Cuomo’s administration should be spending more to cut back on smoking.
The American Cancer Society’s Michael Burgess says while the Centers for Disease Control recommends New York State spend $200 million a year on tobacco cessation programs, the current state budget has just under $40 million allotted for it.
Burgess says in the past, it’s been demonstrated that spending the money on things like a smokers quitline works.
“We believe it actually saves money because we’re spending over $10 billion dollars in health related costs for smoking,” Burgess said.
The smoking rate among New Yorkers has plateaued in recent years at around 16%, and the rate has actually increased recently in New York City. The state’s Health Department has quietly begun a new anti-smoking ad program featuring young people who developed cancer from smoking.