ACS CAN Releases Analysis Showing 14,000 Deaths Annually in New York From a Cancer Linked to Cigarette Smoking
Public Health & Community Leaders Call for Aggressive Action to Curb Tobacco Use
ALBANY, NY—MARCH 15, 2023— Utilizing information from the New York State Cancer Registry, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) released an analysis showing the devastating impact that cancers linked to tobacco use have on New Yorkers.
- Between 2015-2019, 46,417 people on average each year in New York State were diagnosed with a cancer linked to tobacco use, and 13,638 people died from a cancer linked to cigarette smoking.
- Between 2015-2019, 16,861 people on average each year in New York City were diagnosed with a cancer linked to tobacco use, and 4,833 people died from a cancer linked to cigarette smoking.
- Between 2015-2019, 29,556 people on average each year in regions outside of New York City were diagnosed with a cancer linked to tobacco use, and 8,805 people died from a cancer linked to cigarette smoking.
Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in New York for both men and women, and over 80% of lung cancer deaths in the U.S are linked to cigarette smoking. That said, tobacco use causes at least 12 types of cancer. When combined, cancers linked to tobacco use make up 40% of all cancer diagnoses, and cigarette smoking causes 3 in 10 of all cancer deaths.
There are widespread disparities in incidence among the 12 cancers linked to tobacco use. For example, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Black men and the second-leading cause in Black women.
“It is time for state leaders to once and for all get serious about lowering tobacco use rates and, with it, cancer incidence and deaths,” said Michael Davoli, Senior Government Relations Director of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “If we are to end the deadly impact that tobacco has on our kids and our communities, then we must adopt a comprehensive strategy that starts with removing flavored products, like menthol cigarettes, from the tobacco industry toolbox.”
Dr. Andrew Hyland, Chair of Health Behavior and head of tobacco control programs at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, said, “Every day we see patients coming through the doors of Roswell Park suffering and dying from preventable diseases caused by cigarettes. We can save the lives of thousands of New Yorkers and stop the cycle of addiction to tobacco, with the proposal to end the sale of all flavored products—including menthol cigarettes.”
"For generations, Black New Yorkers and other communities of color have been uniquely targeted by the tobacco industry using flavored products and deceptive marketing,” said Lorraine Braithwaite-Harte, Health Committee Chairperson of the NAACP New York State Conference. “As a result, we are often more likely to be diagnosed with and die from many cancers linked to tobacco. Our state leaders must take aggressive action to reduce tobacco use across New York State and that includes ending the sale of menthol cigarettes and all flavored tobacco, increasing the tax on cigarettes, and investing more in smoking cessation programs. These are three concrete steps that have been proven effective at limiting tobacco use and uptake and, when paired together, have the potential to save countless Black lives."
Despite progress and additional policy efforts, approximately 2,361,000 New Yorkers still use tobacco, and tobacco companies are still hooking kids on their deadly product and making a large profit off New Yorkers. In response, ACS CAN is urging state leaders to adopt a three-part strategy to lower tobacco use rates that includes ending the sale of menthol cigarettes and all flavored tobacco, increasing the cigarette tax by at least $1 per pack and dedicating a significant portion of the additional tax revenue toward increasing the budget for the New York State Tobacco Control Program.
About ACS CAN
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 www.fightcancer.org.