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How’d We Do? NY Grades Released for Tobacco Control Funding


Syracuse, NY (January 29, 2018) – The American Lung Association has given New York State an F grade for tobacco prevention and cessation funding, as part of its newly-released 2018 State of Tobacco Control report.  

The State’s 2018 funding for tobacco control programs is just over $39 million, which is only 20% of the CDC’s recommended $200 million for state tobacco control programs. 

“While $39 million may sound like a lot, that funding is spread very thin across the state as we and other similar organizations work to prevent tobacco use and help users quit their tobacco addiction,” said Christopher Owens, MS, C.A.S. HSMP, Director of the Central New York Regional Center for Tobacco Health Systems at St. Joseph’s Health. “And while our funding has remained the same, the need for these services has grown in recent years as more teens are starting to use tobacco products and more of our addicted residents are looking for help in quitting.” 

The Central New York Regional Center for Tobacco Health Systems at St. Joseph’s Health is one of nine New York State Dept. of Health Bureau of Tobacco Control grant funded programs for Tobacco Health Systems, and receives only 1.5% of the State funding for tobacco control programs. The Center promotes evidence based methods and treatments that help tobacco users quit, working with health care organizations across 14 counties in Central and Northern NY to implement systems to screen patients for tobacco use and assist clinicians in treating patients who struggle with tobacco addiction. 

In the 2018 ALA report, New York received an A grade for smokefree air, a B grade for tobacco taxes, a C grade for access to cessation services, and a D grade for Tobacco 21. 

A local coalition of hospitals and other organizations spent the past year advocating for Tobacco 21 legislation to raise the age for sale of tobacco to 21. The law was passed in Onondaga County in December 2017, and Onondaga is one of a dozen counties in the State to have passed Tobacco 21. But New York received a D grade because this legislation has not yet been passed at the State level. 

In New York, smoking is prohibited in government and private workplaces, schools and childcare facilities, restaurants and bars, retail stores, and recreational and cultural facilities. And New York is tied with Connecticut for having the highest state cigarette tax in the country. 

About St. Joseph’s Health

St. Joseph’s Health is a non-profit regional health care system based in Syracuse, N.Y., providing services to patients throughout Central New York and northern Pennsylvania. From primary to specialty to home care, to our Magnet-recognized hospital, and in collaboration with our community partners, St. Joseph's Health is advancing the health of the communities we serve through an expanding range of healthcare services to ensure our patients achieve optimum long-term health. Ranked by Consumer Reports among the top 15 heart surgery centers in the country, U.S. News “Best Regional Hospital” and a 15-time winner of the National Research Corporation Consumer Choice award, St. Joseph’s is widely recognized for quality, value and delivering the highest patient satisfaction. St. Joseph’s Health is affiliated with Franciscan Companies and St. Joseph’s Physicians and is a member of Trinity Health.