NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OFHEALTH AND MENTAL HYGIENE
Thomas Farley, M.D., M.P.H.
March 18, 2011Honorable Richard GottfriedNew York State AssemblyLegislative Office Building 822Albany, NY 12248Dear Assembly Member Gottfried,As you know, the Assembly voted this week to eliminate more than $52 millionof the $58,415,000 in funding for New York State’s Tobacco Control Program,which is a key partner in our effort to reduce smoking in New York City. If thisfunding is not restored, New York will take a giant leap backward just assmoking rates in the City are leveling off after years of steady declines.I urge you and your colleagues to restore this funding as part of the final budgetagreement with Governor Cuomo and the Senate.The State’s Tobacco Control Program funds several crucial initiatives thathelped save an estimated 9,100 lives last year and reduced New York City’ssmoking rate to its lowest in history. These include:
Public education campaigns: The State spent $1.8 million on educationalcampaigns in New York City last year, resulting in an estimated 8,685quits and 2,895 lives saved in New York City.
Smokers’ Quitline: Last year alone, more than 81,893 New York Cityresidents asked for assistance with quitting smoking through 311 and theNew York State Smokers’ Quitline.
Community education: The Coalition for a Smoke Free City receivedfunding from the New York State Tobacco Control Program, allowingthem to educate the community about smoke free air, youth access totobacco, and other life-saving tobacco control policies.Smoking will kill 7,200 New York City residents this year – more than AIDS,homicide and suicide combined—and it is all preventable. In addition, manymore suffer from debilitating smoking-related illness and the effects of secondhand smoke. The pain of smoking-related illness, the pain of losing lovedones to smoking, and the pain of watching our children suffer from asthma and
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