ALBANY, NY – JANUARY 10, 2023 – This afternoon Governor Hochul joined leaders from across New York to give the annual State of the State address, outlining her policy priorities for the coming year. In the accompanying written document titled, “Achieving the New York Dream,” Governor Hochul denoted that a key pillar of her 2023 legislative agenda will be curbing tobacco use. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) applauds the Governor’s decision to target ending the sale of all other flavored tobacco products and increase the cigarette tax by $1, moving from $4.35 to $5.35 per pack.
Governor Hochul proposes these two measures with the goal of limiting the number of New Yorkers who use, become addicted to and prematurely die from tobacco. Data indicate that raising cigarette taxes and ending the sale of menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products will reduce the tobacco burden, improving public health, limiting health care costs and generating revenue in New York. With approximately 12.8% of New York adults still smoking and 22,290 New Yorkers projected to die from smoking-related illness this year, communities will benefit greatly from the Governor’s proposed reform; a $1 per pack increase in the cigarette tax has the potential to save over 15,000 lives.
In taking these steps, Governor Hochul has the support of countless state and national organizations. “The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network understands the plans outlined in today’s State of the State address to be a huge step toward decreasing smoking rates and, with it, lung cancer deaths across New York. Governor Hochul’s decision to prioritize these policies is courageous and represents the aggressive action we need to curtail tobacco use,” said ACS CAN New York Government Relations Direction Michael Davoli. “We encourage state and local leaders across New York to join Governor Hochul in prioritizing tobacco prevention and cessation efforts, utilizing the additional revenue from the proposed tax increase to expand tobacco control funding. The health and safety of every New Yorker is well worth the fight. ACS CAN is also calling on the New York City Council to pass legislation ending the sale of menthol cigarettes—a proposal that’s been waiting for a vote since 2019—and encourages New York City leaders to show the same level of courage that the Governor demonstrated today by standing up to Big Tobacco.”
ACS CAN calls on the State Legislature to join Governor Hochul in standing up to Big Tobacco and end the sale of menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products and increase the cigarette tax by at least $1 per pack without delay; public health leaders across New York are eager to act as a resource in this effort.
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.