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50th Anniversary Of Surgeon General Report On Smoking

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50th Anniversary Of Surgeon General Report On Smoking

 N E W S   R E L E A S E 

Your Partner for a Healthy Community
Frank Kruppa — Public Health Director


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ted Schiele, 607-274-6712

50th Anniversary Of Surgeon General’s Report On Smoking & Health: War On Smoking Is Far From Over

(ITHACA, NY) — Fifty years after the release of the first Surgeon General's report on smoking and health, remarkable progress has been made. Since 1964, smoking prevalence among U.S. adults has been reduced by half. Unfortunately, tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. On January 16, 2014, the Surgeon General will release the 32nd Report on Smoking and Health in recognition of the 50th anniversary. The report will present new data on the health consequences of tobacco use, and detail initiatives that can end the tobacco use epidemic in the United States.

In New York, tobacco use remains the leading cause of premature death and disease, with the highest smoking rates among the poorest New Yorkers who disproportionately suffer the deadly consequences of tobacco use. “New Yorkers earning less than $25,000 per year and those who report poor mental health are still smoking at significantly higher rates than the rest of the population and helping them quit remains an uphill battle,” said Ted Schiele of Tobacco-Free Tompkins. 

Youth tobacco use continues to be an area of great concern. The smoking rate for high school students in NY State has declined to 11.9 percent, but it is still too high. The U.S. Surgeon General states that tobacco marketing is a cause of tobacco use. Ninety percent of smokers will smoke their first cigarette by the age of 18, so it is essential that we take steps to protect youth when they are most vulnerable to tobacco marketing and smoking initiation.

“It is hard to believe we are still fighting this deadly product fifty years later,” said Frank Kruppa, Tompkins County Public Health Director. “We’ve made tremendous progress, but we must continue to tackle the enormous financial and health burden that tobacco use causes in our community.” 

Tobacco Free Tompkins (T-Free), a program of the Tompkins County Health Department, is a Community Partnership funded by the New York State Bureau of Tobacco Control. T-Free engages in community education and advocacy to keep the air smoke-free, support smokers who want to quit, and help teens beat the tobacco trap, because we cannot afford another generation of tobacco addiction. Visit Tobacco Free Tompkins on the Web at