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State gets mixed grades in annual tobacco control report

Chart courtesy of American Lung Association

New York is not spending enough money on smoking cessation programs. The 2019 State of Tobacco Control report released late last week suggests New York is no longer a leader when it comes to spending money on programs that reduce smoking rates.

Michael Seilback of the American Lung Association in New York says the state's overall report card showed some good and some bad.

"New York received an 'A' for smoke free air and a 'B' for tobacco taxes," Seilback said. "But what continues to cause the most concern is the 'F' grade New York receives for tobacco prevention and control funding."

Seilback says youth cigarette smoking is at a record low. But he notes youth e-cigarette use in New York increased by 78 percent over the past year.

Sielback is calling on elected leaders in New York to spend more of smoking cessation programs and to pass a law increasing the legal purchase age of tobacco products to 21.