15,300 New Yorkers’ Lives to Be Saved with Cigarette Tax Increase

Public health groups release analysis of health benefits & cost savings from a $1.00 increase in New York State cigarette tax

January 23, 2023

ALBANY, NY – JANUARY 23, 2023 – Following Governor Hochul’s proposed plan for shepherding a tobacco-free generation in New York, leading public health organizations—the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (TFK)— released an analysis of the public health benefits & cost savings that New York can expect to see with a $1.00 per pack cigarette tax increase.

In addition to saving New York State millions of dollars in smoking-related health care costs, the Governor’s proposal will result in the following:

  • Save over 15,300 lives
  • Decrease youth (under age 18) smoking by 8.2%
  • Prevent 14,400 youth under age 18 from becoming adults who smoke
  • Reduce the number of young adults (18-24 years old) who smoke by 3,000
  • Result in 44,800 adults who currently smoke quitting

The complete projections can be found here.

While not included in the projections, ACS CAN and TFK affirm the public health necessity of and cost-saving opportunity in raising the tax on all other tobacco products to parallel that of the proposed cigarette tax rate increase. Any additional revenue raised by the new tax rates should go toward fact-based, statewide tobacco prevention and cessation programs. ACS CAN and TFK are also calling upon New York State to end the sale of menthol cigarettes along with all other flavored tobacco products. While New York State moved quickly to end the sale of (most) flavored electronic cigarettes in 2019, legislation to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products has long stalled—even though over 80% of kids who have used tobacco started with a flavored product according to a Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“A significant increase in the cigarette tax is the single-most effective way to reduce smoking in New York state, especially among youth,” said Kevin O’Flaherty, Director of Advocacy for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.  “It has been 13 years since New York state last increased its cigarette tax, and if we’re serious about keeping kids from starting and encouraging adults to quit, it’s time to raise it again.”

“Lung and bronchus cancer remain the number one cause of cancer deaths in New York and about 80% of lung cancer deaths are thought to result from smoking, said Michael Davoli, Senior Government Relations Director of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “ACS CAN calls on the State Legislature to join Governor Hochul in standing up to Big Tobacco by increasing the cigarette tax by at least $1 per pack along with an equivalent tax on all other tobacco products. Additionally, it is critical that state leaders once and for all end the sale of menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products to help keep another generation of kids from getting hooked on tobacco.”




The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that improves the lives of people with cancer and their families. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and advanced proven tobacco control measures. We’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. Join the fight by visiting

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