Statement: New York Leaders’… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Statement: New York Leaders’ Agreement to Increase the Tobacco Tax

Statement by Matthew L. Myers President of the CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS
December 17, 1999

Washington, DC - The CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS supports the decision of New York Governor George Pataki, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to increase the state tobacco tax by 55 cents a pack and to implement a tobacco use prevention program based on the guidelines of the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC). However, we are concerned that the current plan allocates only $37 million a year for tobacco prevention, less than half the minimum amount recommended by the CDC for a comprehensive program in New York. We urge New York’s leaders to revisit this aspect of their plan and fully fund a comprehensive tobacco prevention program, which will save both lives and long-term health care costs related to smoking.

Raising the cigarette tax is a big step forward in protecting New York’s citizens – especially young people – from the deadly harm of tobacco use. Numerous studies have documented that every 10 percent increase in the real price of cigarettes will reduce overall cigarette consumption by approximately 3 to 5 percent, with a reduction of about 7 percent in the number of children who smoke. New York’s decision to raise the cigarette tax will protect kids and save lives.