Posted by: audreybenenati | January 6, 2010

The fight against tobacco continues


http://www.poststar.com/news/opinion/mailbag/article_9c3d9302-f9b1-11de-9510-001cc4c002e0.html

Editor:

A common New Year’s resolution is to quit smoking. People are more highly motivated to quit when they live in a state, like New York, that has an effective, funded, tobacco control program. With 2.5 million adult smokers in our state, there is still a need for a strong statewide tobacco control program. During these economic times, it makes good sense to spend wisely by prioritizing programs based on effectiveness. Importantly, the New York State Tobacco Control Program is one of few state programs that have been proven effective by an independent, external evaluation. These auditors have noted that the dramatic declines in youth and adult smoking rates in New York state have outpaced national declines. In addition, the program saves money in the long run by reducing the tobacco-related health care costs incurred by the state.

Despite the progress, there is much work left to be done in New York state. One in seven high school students are current smokers, and approximately 1.9 million adult smokers say they want to quit. As a former smoker, I know firsthand that smoking is a powerfully addictive behavior, but it is also one that can be overcome, with some help.

Maintaining funding for New YorkState’s Tobacco Control Program will help ensure that those who resolved to quit on Jan. 1, 2010, or any time this year, will have access to the most effective, evidence-based quit smoking interventions available today. I urge my neighbors and your readers to support the statewide tobacco control program.

COLLEEN FLORIO

Glens Falls

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