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New York gets mixed grades in tobacco report

The American Lung Association has published its annual “State of Tobacco Control” report, and New York state did not fare well.

The report, published this morning, gives the state of New York failing grades for tobacco control funding and cessation efforts. Thomas Carr, the Director of National Policy for the American Lung Association, says in the five years that the organization has given grades to states for how they help people quit smoking, there hasn't been much improvement.

 “Thirty-two states got F's, so we're really trying to draw attention to the fact that states need to increase coverage of medication and counseling that are proven to help people quit,” said Carr.

On the other end of the spectrum, New York received two A's for its cigarette tax -- at $4.35, it's the highest in the nation -- and for smoke-free air.

Michael Seilback, also of the American Lung Association says he would like to see more tobacco control legislation this year.

“New York is not doing enough to protect its citizens from tobacco. There are far too many people continuing to smoke that need help to quit, and there are far too many children that are still starting to smoke,” he said.

Seilback added that by reducing the number of people who smoke, the association expects New York state would see healthcare costs to go down.