In New York City, smoking kills more than 7,400 people a year.
The rates of smoking in New York City were largely constant for the decade prior to 2002. Starting with tax increases on tobacco in 2002 and the Smoke Free Air Act of 2003 and followed by patch giveaways, help lines, hard hitting media about the health risks of tobacco and ongoing evaluation of tobacco control efforts, NYC has seen tobacco use drop dramatically. Since 2002, adult smoking has decreased by 27%, representing about 350,000 fewer adult smokers, and the rate of smoking in public high school students has dropped by 52%.
Effect of Environmental Approaches to Smoking Prevention
The impact of NYC's bold action on tobacco control did not only benefit New Yorkers. As NYC stepped up action to curb smoking, many governments across the country and across the globe followed suit. When New York City passed its Smoke Free Air Act in 2002, no other cities and only one state had enacted a comprehensive smoke-free air law. Today, nearly 30 states and more than a dozen countries have followed New York City's lead and adopted similar legislation. Click here to view the spread of tobacco control policies across the country.
Private donations and public sector grants to the Fund for Public Health in New York (FPHNY) has advanced the NYC Health Department's agenda in tobacco control. FPHNY is supporting the NYC Health Department in utilizing over $15M in stimulus funding, and individual giving has added new promotional opportunities to spread the government's tobacco control messages. The NYC Health Department's leadership on curbing tobacco use in NYC and elsewhere has saved tens of thousands of lives.