The New York arm of the American Cancer Society on Wednesday raised alarms over the latest statistics from the Department of Health showing a large percentage of cancer survivors continue to smoke.
The statistic show about 10 percent of cancer survivors continue to smoke. And 32 percent of residents between 18 and 44 who have received a cancer diagnosis are smoking, compared to 14 percent of those in the same age group who have never had a cancer diagnosis.
And for those who are between 45 and 64, there are 16% of cancer survivors who smoke.
“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, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network senior government relations director.
Hart said the statistics show there needs to be a more aggressive approach to fighting smoking usage in New York and called for an increase in tobacco taxes.
“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," Hart said. "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 to help give smokers the tools they need to quit and to help prevent Big Tobacco from preying on young people.”