Reality Check students from all nine counties of Western New York joined 200+ youth advocates from around the state at the Capitol building for Tobacco Control Legislative Day on Tuesday, February 6.
Their single most important message to elected officials: We’ve had many successes (smoking rates are down overall) but the fight isn’t over. Here’s why:
1. People with poor mental health have the highest rate of smoking in in New York State. It’s 33.7%.
2. One of the tobacco industry’s targeting strategies is the less educated. 27.5% of New Yorkers with less than a high school education smoke.
3. Poor communities are exploited by Big Tobacco in New York State. 26.8% who earn less than $15,000 a year smoke cigarettes.
4. Another population that warrants a fight is youth. E-cigarette use by NYS youth doubled from 2014-2016.
5. The average age of a new smoker in New York State is 13. That is way too young.
6. Every year, tobacco-related healthcare costs New York $10.3 BILLION. We can save lives and money with reducing tobacco use.
If you’d like to join the tobacco-free fight, call us at 716.845.1300 today. We can always use the support.