The number of smokers in New York City has risen, as government spending to fight the habit has dropped.
A U.S. Surgeon General’s report due to be released March 8 will come down hard on states that have cut anti-smoking funds in tough fiscal times, according to Terry Pechacek of the CDC.
Anti-smoking advocates said Tuesday that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget would continue to cut help for smokers to quit, even as it takes advantage of their habit by raising the tax on cigars and loose tobacco used in rolled cigarettes.
The anti-smoking lobby in New York has a new weapon. The Food and Drug Administration will require all packs of cigarettes to include graphic warning labels conveying the dangers of smoking.
The Center for a Tobacco Free New York said there is a direct relationship between funding and smoking. The center’s Russ Sciandra says that when the anti-smoking TV ads stop, the number of smokers rises.