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A Story from New York

Sustaining State Funding for Tobacco Control
Sustaining State Funding for
Tobacco Control
A Story from New York


  • Over 25,000 smokers living in New York die from tobacco use each year. The state incurs over $8 billion a year in medical costs resulting from tobacco use.
  • The New York Tobacco Control Program (NYTCP) has established an ambitious goal of one million fewer smokers by the year 2010. This goal has been adopted as an agency priority and has been endorsed by the governor.
  • CDC's 2007 Best Practices funding recommendations indicate that New York should be investing $254.3 million annually in a comprehensive tobacco control program.

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  • Although tobacco control funding in the state still falls short of the CDC recommendation, New York has seen an increase from $32.5 million in the year 2000 to $85.5 million in 2007.

HOW have the NYTCP, the Center for a Tobacco Free New York, and community partners succeeded in increasing funding?

  • NYTCP required funded community partners to implement sustainability plans and report on their activities.
  • Sustainability activities include monthly communication with local legislators, letters to the editor, personal stories from those affected by tobacco use, the establishment of relationships with the media, and legislative office visits.
  • The Center for a Tobacco Free New York and its partners successfully advocated with legislators to raise the tax on cigarettes to the highest tax in the nation—$2.75/pack.
  • Advocates continue to work toward increased funding for the statewide program to meet the CDC Best Practices' recommendation of $254.3 million annually.
  • Annual independent evaluation reports of the statewide program have been published for the past four years and results of the program's effectiveness are shared widely with legislators and other decision-makers.

WHAT do decision makers need to hear?

  • Tobacco use is an epidemic that harms every community in the state.
  • Tobacco control works, and New York is effectively implementing evidence-based interventions. As a result, tobacco use prevalence in New York is lower than the national average: 18.2% for adults and 16.2% for high school students.
  • Evidence shows us that the longer states invest in comprehensive tobacco control programs, the greater the impact. These programs also become more cost-effective over time.
  • In New York, tobacco is an $8 billion problem with a $250 million solution.
  • A huge unmet need exists that can be better addressed with more financial resources.

From WHOM have legislators and other decision makers heard these messages?

  • National tobacco control experts
  • New York State Department of Health officials
  • Independent evaluators
  • New York Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Advisory Council
  • Funded community partners


  • New York has established ambitious goals for the statewide program to reach by the year 2010: One million fewer smokers, an adult prevalence rate of 14%, and a youth prevalence rate of 10%.
  • Reaching these goals requires a sustained, comprehensive, evidence-based, population-based effort.
  • The NYTCP has placed sustaining program funding and infrastructure at the core of its activities.
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