To the Editor:
SLC Tobacco Free Community Partners is urging smokers to talk to their doctors, or to call the New York State Smokers’ Quitline for help giving up their deadly addiction, as the state cigarette excise tax increases by $1.60 on July 1, to $4.35 per pack. This will put the average cost of a pack of cigarettes over $8 in New York State.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in U.S. Smokers should use this tax increase as motivation to quit. Not only will quitting save you money, but smokers who quit reduce their risk of developing smoking-related heart disease, stroke, cancer and emphysema. So, now is the perfect time to talk to your doctor or call the NY State Smokers’ Quitline.
The Quitline is prepared for an increase in calls from smokers seeking help with quitting. The Quitline provides free coaching and quit plans, free nicotine patches, free tips and information, and free online help.
According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, New York can expect the $1.60 cigarette tax to prevent 170,500 New York kids from becoming smokers; spur 86,100 current adult smokers to quit; save 77,300 New York residents from premature, smoking-caused deaths; and save $3.8 billion in future health care costs.
So, if you’re ready to quit – if you want to save the money you are spending on tobacco, if you want to get healthy – take advantage of the resources available to help you.
The Smokers’ Quitline phone number is 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487). The Quitline also provides help online at www.nysmokefree.com.
Benjamin R. Todd
St. Lawrence Co.Tobacco Program