The Telegram
  • 38 years later, tobacco still kills too many New Yorkers

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  • UTICA — Tri-County Quits Tobacco Cessation Program at Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare celebrated the 38th year of the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 21.
    After nearly four decades, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death, killing more than 25,000 New Yorkers every year, according to a news release.
    Tri-County Quits invites tobacco users to make a pledge to quit in honor of the Great American Smokeout, the release stated.
    Quitting smoking is the single most important step a person can take to reducethe risk of cancer, the release stated. The American Cancer Society suggests 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, prostate, the release stated.
    The New York State Tobacco Control Program reduces tobacco use, saves lives and saves money, the release stated. The state Department of Health estimates approximately 25 percent of the total decline in adult smoking is attributable to youth-prevention strategies. The reduction in smoking among young adults will reduce future health care costs by approximately $5 billion, the release stated.
    The 2003 expanded Clean Indoor Air Act, higher cigarette taxes and the state’s comprehensive tobacco control program have contributed to a 53 percent reduction in New York’s smoking rate among high school students, the release stated. Unfortunately, there are still more than 100,000 high school students who smoke in New York state, the release stated.
    Efforts to help smokers quit and keep children from starting to smoke will continue to have an impact on the health of New York state now and in the future, the release stated.
    For more information, call 624-5639.
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