38 years later, tobacco still kills too many New Yorkers

NORWICH – Even though this marks the 38th year of the Great American Smokeout, tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable disease and death, killing more than 25,000 New Yorkers every year.

Quitting smoking is the single most important step you can take to reduce your risk of cancer. The American Cancer Society suggests that 60 percent of cancers could be avoided if people stopped using tobacco. Smoking is the major cause of lung cancer which is responsible for more deaths than the next three most common cancers combined (colon, breast, and prostate).

The New York State Tobacco Control Program effectively reduces tobacco use, saves lives and saves money. The Department of Health estimates that approximately 35 percent of the total decline in adult smoking is attributable to youth prevention strategies. The significant reduction in smoking among young adults will reduce future health care costs by approximately $5 billion.

“Efforts to help smokers quit and keep kids from starting to smoke will continue to have a major impact on the health of New York State now and in the future,” said James Mutabiilwa, Tobacco Free Chenango program coordinator. “We hope smokers take advantage of all the resources available today for the Great American Smokeout and give quitting a chance.”

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