Reducing the Toll of Tobacco

Tobacco companies are still making a killing off New Jerseyans.  While we have made substantial progress, the fact remains that smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in New Jersey.  Each year more than 480,000 people in the United States die from illnesses related to tobacco use. This means each year smoking causes about 1 out of 5 deaths in the US. We can change these grim statistics. 

Smoking not only causes cancer. It can damage nearly every organ in the body, including the lungs, heart, blood vessels, reproductive organs, mouth, skin, eyes, and bones.

Smoking accounts for about 30% of all cancer deaths in the United States, including about 80% of all lung cancer deaths. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women and is one of the hardest cancers to treat.

Smoking and tobacco take a toll on New Jerseyans…

11,800 New Jerseyans a year die from tobacco-caused illnesses.

  • 2,500 New Jersey kids become new smokers each year.  
  • The annual health care costs in New Jersey directly caused by smoking are $4.06 billion.
  • The annual Medicaid costs caused by smoking in New Jersey is $1.17 billion.
  • $3.15 billion in smoking-caused productivity losses in New Jersey.
  • The use of e-cigarettes by kids is rising rapidly. E-cigarette use among kids tripled in just one year
  • Kids aren’t substituting e-cigarettes for cigarettes.  In fact, more than half of high school students who smoke cigarettes also use e-cigarettes.
  • 9.6% of high school students in New Jersey use e-cigarettes.


New Jersey State Advocacy Initiatives:
While New Jersey has made tremendous strides in reducing smoking rates, in recent years, the state has begun to lose its national leadership role in tobacco control. 

  • Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Funding:  ACS CAN will work to increase funding for fact-based, statewide tobacco prevention and cessation programs.  ACS CAN will seek dedicate 3% of the cigarette tax revenue to tobacco control and prevention to increase the resources available to reduce tobacco use in New Jersey.
  • Permanently Close the Casino Loophole in the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act: New Jersey’s casinos remain the only places exempted from New Jersey’s Smoke-Free Air Act. This puts the health of the 22,000 employees at New Jersey’s casinos at risk in addition to the casino patrons. By a 2-to-1 margin New Jersey voters support prohibiting indoor smoking in NJ casinos and 7-in-10 New Jersey voters would prefer to visit a smokefree casino. ACS CAN will advocate for the passage of legislation that will permanently close the loophole that allows smoking, including casinos.