38 Years Later, Tobacco Still Kills Too Many New Yorkers

Great American Smokeout - November 21, 2013

Local Smoker to Kick Off Great American Smokeout - November 21st

(BINGHAMTON, NY) – Even though this is 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. Local smoker, Paul Kolosna has “almost” quit smoking and invites other smokers to join him. 
“Like most smokers, I wanted to quit for years because I knew it wasn’t good for me. Finally, with the support of my friends, family and assistance from the New York State Smokers’ Quitline, I have almost entirely quit, although sometimes it is still a struggle in social situations,” said Kolosna. “I feel so much better now and my goal is to quit entirely. I urge other smokers to keep trying – it’s worth the effort!”
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.[i] 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).[ii]
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. 
One of the major causes of youth smoking is tobacco marketing at retail outlets, according to the Surgeon General. Local tobacco control staff has been working to educate the community about the effect of tobacco retail marketing. When Binghamton Senators fans were asked for their thoughts about tobacco marketing at Friday night’s game, some of the responses were: 
  • “Tobacco ads should not be anywhere they could be seen by kids.”
  • “It is wrong to put ads up in front of young kids that are very easily influenced.”
  • “All tobacco products should be hidden, not at the view of teens. This law is in Canada.”
  •  “The tobacco companies make the cans and signage look nice and colorful – kids are drawn to the pretty colors.”
  • “They influence kids to think smoking is okay.”
  • “Tobacco ads should be eliminated from convenience stores where the industry takes too much of an advantage.”
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 Sharon Fischer, Tobacco Free Broome & Tioga Coordinator at the Broome County Health Department. “We hope smokers take advantage of all the resources available today for the Great American Smokeout and give quitting a chance.” There are many tools available including the new text to quit program which gives smart phone users the ability to receive quit tips and helpful information directly to their phone. 
For a free personalized quit plan, contact the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS or www.nysmokefree.com.
Tobacco Free Broome & Tioga is a funded by partners of the New York State Bureau of Tobacco Control. The Bureau of Tobacco Control implements evidence-based and promising strategies to prevent and reduce tobacco use and envisions a tobacco-free society for all New Yorkers. For more information, visit www.tobaccofreenys.com

[i] 2012-2017 New York State Cancer Control Plan, NYS DOH
[ii] American Cancer Society, The Cancer Burden in New York State, July 2012


11/20/2013 - 9:27am