MALONE?- Franklin County Public Health is urging smokers to talk to their doctors or to call the New York State Smokers' Quitline for help giving up their addiction, as the state cigarette excise tax increased by $1.60 on July 1, to $4.35 per pack. This will put the average cost of a pack of cigarettes more than $8 in New York state.
"Everyone knows that cigarettes are bad for your body - smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in United States - but smoking is bad for your bank account, too," said Sue Patterson, health educator. "Smokers should use this tax increase as motivation to quit. Not only will quitting save you money, but a smoker who quits reduces their risk of developing smoking-related heart disease, stroke, cancer and emphysema. So, if you smoke, now is the perfect time to talk to your doctor or call the New York State Smokers' Quitline."
The Quitline is prepared for an increase in calls from smokers seeking help with quitting. The Quitline provides free coaching and quit plans, free nicotine patches, free tips and information, and free online help.
According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, New York can expect the $1.60 cigarette tax to prevent 170,500 New York kids from becoming smokers; spur 86,100 current adult smokers to quit; save 77,300 New York residents from premature, smoking-caused deaths; and save $3.8 billion in future health care costs.
"The cigarette tax increase will have a significant health benefit to the people of New York State," Patterson said. "As a result of cigarettes being less affordable, more New Yorkers will give up smoking and fewer youth will start. So, if you're ready to quit - if you want to stop throwing away your money on cigarettes, if you want to get healthy - take advantage of the resources that are available to help you."
The Smokers' Quitline phone number is 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487). The Quitline also provides help online at www.nysmokefree.com.