Dramatic New Statistics Released by NYSDOH Show High Number of Young Cancer Patients Struggle with Tobacco Addiction

ACS CAN calls on New York to increase tobacco taxes to help protect all New Yorkers

October 7, 2020

ALBANY, NY – The New York State Department of Health released shocking new statistics showing a large percentage of cancer survivors continue to smoke, putting their lives and health at further risk.

While the statistics showed one in ten cancer survivors are smokers, it revealed troubling news for young people diagnosed with cancer. The statistics show 32% of residents, between the ages 18 to 44 that have received a cancer diagnosis, are smoking compared to just 14% of those in the same age group that have never received a cancer diagnosis.

For those aged 45-64, 16% of cancer survivors smoke compared to 14% of those that have never received a cancer diagnosis.

“These numbers are truly appalling because despite already hearing the chilling words ‘you have cancer,’ dramatic numbers of New Yorkers are still dealing with a deadly tobacco addiction.” said Julie Hart, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) senior government relations director.

“These stark numbers are a wakeup call that we need to do more to combat Big Tobacco, including increasing the tax on all tobacco products.  Tobacco taxes are a win-win as they encourage smokers to quit and provide much needed revenue. Yet despite tobacco taxes being a win-win, New York hasn’t raised most tobacco taxes in 10 years. It’s time for New York to increase the tax on all tobacco products and to use the revenue to fund the Tobacco Control Program (TCP) to help give smokers the tools they need to quit and to help prevent Big Tobacco from preying on young people.”

See Stats Here.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit

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Media Contacts

Marc Kaplan
Senior Regional Media Advocacy Manager
Albany, NY