Raise The Tobacco Sale Age In New York to 21
Dear [Decision Maker],
As a constituent and volunteer for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), I write today in support of the Governor's proposal to raise the tobacco sale age in New York to 21, and to urge you to help increase funding for New York's Tobacco Control Program in this year's budget. Tobacco use remains the number one preventable cause of death in New York, killing over 28,000 New Yorkers annually. While we have made progress, clearly we must do more to help New Yorkers quit smoking and to prevent kids from beginning this deadly addiction.We are excited to see the Governor has proposed increasing the age for the sale of tobacco products to 21. This is a common-sense measure given 95% of smokers begin smoking before turning 21.Combatting the tobacco industry will require a comprehensive approach. A key part of this comprehensive approach is increasing funding for the state's Tobacco Control Program.The New York State Tobacco Control Program helps smokers quit and keeps kids from starting to use tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, but the program needs more resources to reach the most vulnerable New Yorkers and to help protect our kids from this deceptive industry.The trends are alarming. New data from the Department of Health shows 27% of high school students in the state are using e-cigarettes. This isn't surprising given the industry is luring kids with candy and fruity flavors.Sadly, the deceptive marketing strategies of the tobacco and vaping industry threaten to undermine all the progress New York has made to reduce youth tobacco use in recent years. Given the proliferation of new tobacco products, particularly e-cigarettes, the Tobacco Control Program must now attempt to reach a substantially larger number of youth than in previous years. However, the program has not been provided any additional resources to effectively reach the growing number of children being swayed to try these new tobacco products. According to the CDC, New York should invest $203 million to have an effective tobacco control program. However, New York is falling far short. We are only investing $39 million in this lifesaving program. By gradually increasing funding for the state's Tobacco Control Program, New York can help better protect our kids and help smokers quit. Please stand up to Big Tobacco by supporting Tobacco 21 in the final budget and increase funding for the state's Tobacco Control Program to $52 million. Thank you and I look forward to your reply.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]