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Anti-Smoking Funding Lacking In New York

Anti-smoking advocates say the state needs to spend more money on programs to help smokers.
Anti-smoking advocates say the state needs to spend more money on programs to help smokers. 

New York gets about $2.5 billion a year in revenues and settlements related to smoking. According to the CDC, nearly $300 million of that money is needed to run effective anti-smoking campaigns. 

"We're missing an opportunity because right now we're only spending around $40 million a year," Dr. Geoffrey Williams said.

Dr. Geoffrey Williams is the president of the State Tobacco Control Advisory Board. 

"Most legislatures across the country have chosen to use that money to fill more immediate needs rather than trying to support the smokers trying to quit; and that's a difficult question about why we don't step out to help that group of people that suffer with an addiction," he said.

Still, Williams says the money set aside for anti-smoking campaigns is having an impact.

"We've seen a dramatic reduction in high school smoking, so we think that the future will have fewer smokers for New York State," he said.

Lawmakers downstate want to change the future of smoking. They are banning the use of e-cigarettes indoors. Patrick Gleason owns the Three Days Smoke Shop in Greece. He says business is booming.

"I'm opening a third store next month," he said.

Gleason says the juice for e-cigarettes contains nicotine, but does not contain any cancer-causing chemicals. He cannot see any reason why people should not be allowed to use them indoors. 

"This is the future. I mean in the next five years they're predicting that e-cig[arette] sales are going to surpass traditional cigarette sales; so this is where it's headed," he said.

Rochester City Council does not have any plans to ban e-cigarettes at this time. 
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