ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York Department of Health reported that state efforts to curtail tobacco usage are working. The measures primarily include increasing cigarette prices and taxes.

MORE news from NEWS10

“The intent of banning the sale of flavored vaping products and restrictions on certain other tobacco sales was to prevent young people from starting a deadly addiction and to encourage adults to quit” said Dr James Mc Donald, the acting state health commissioner. Mc Donald added that the state is continuing its efforts to ban flavored tobacco products such as menthol.

New York State’s heath department cited three policy measures that have lowered state tobacco usage.

The first, from the New York Youth tobacco survey, found that cigarette usage fell from a peak of over 27 percent in 2000 to 2 percent most recently. E cigarette usage declined 32 percent from 2018 to 2022.

A second report from the 2021 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System found a 15 percent decrease in adult smoking usage between 2017 and 2021 in New York.

Finally, an independent report found a 32 percent tobacco usage decrease between 2018 and 2022.

“The results of the health studies confirm what we already know” said Michael Davoli, a director at the American Cancer Society. “Banning the sale of flavored products, instituting restrictions on certain tobacco product sales and providing comprehensive tobacco control programming are effective at curbing tobacco use” he added.

New York poised to lead on tobacco policy

On a national level, the American lung association found that every 10 percent hike in the price of cigarettes lowers consumption by about 7 percent in youth and 4 percent in adults. Accordingly, New York’s 2024 enacted budget also includes a price increase on cigarette packs by $1.00, to $5.35, the highest cigarette tax in the nation.