Questionable Scores: NYS Tobacco Policy Report Card Indicates Failing Areas
Though New York State has consistently been a national leader when it comes to tobacco control laws, when it comes to tobacco policy, the state appears to be lacking as of lately.
According to recent findings from the American Lung Association State of Tobacco Control, New York received failing grades for both Tobacco Prevention Funding (F) and Restrictions for Flavored Tobacco Products (D). However, the state did receive better scores for Smoke-Free-Air, Tobacco Taxes, and Access to Cessation Services.
The NY State report card for 2022 reads as follows:
Recent Findings & New York State's Action Plan
The ALA reported in their recent findings that New York was not very active regarding tobacco policy recently, as statewide, the most time and resources were targeted towards COVID-19 response. It was reported that a budget hold was placed on several state programs, including tobacco control, thus impacting New York's work on tobacco control programs. In March of 2021, the American Rescue Plan was signed into law and assisted with funding to cover budget gaps.
As a result of New York's current standings, the ALA has called for state elected officials to take the following actions:
- Increase funding for the New York State Tobacco Control Program;
- Prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products; and
- Increase tobacco taxes by a minimum of $1.00 per pack.
New York State's Cigarette Use Among High School Students
Across the US, and within New York State specifically, tobacco use continues to top the list of preventable death and disease, though recent research from New York's Youth Tobacco Survey indicated that between 2018 and 2020, tobacco use among high school age students has declined across all product categories to 25.6%, down from 30.6%.
Statistics also show a general decrease across the board with it comes to high school aged students. A staggering 91% decline in the youth smoking rate since 2000, with 2.4% of high school students reporting as cigarette smokers. E-cigarette use is at 22.5% as of 2020, down from 27.5%.
Next Steps For New York State
The American Lunch Association within NY will continue to advocate for increased funding for tobacco control programs, and seek to enact a statewide prohibition on the sale of all flavored tobacco products. There is also a push for a tax increase on cigarettes and other tobacco products, which would be the first increase since 2010.
To read the New York's full report, or see where other states compare, check out the full findings from the ALA here.