ALBANY, 02/26/15 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) met this week with high school students from Reality Check – Schoharie County.
“Reality Check is an effective program that educates both on the dangers of smoking to individuals and the high health cost incurred by all,” said Seward. “It is especially encouraging to meet with young people who are engaged and working toward a cause they feel passionate about.”
The students discussed recent field studies they have conducted to gauge the use of tobacco advertising at retail locations. They also detailed the health and financial benefits of smoking cessation and tobacco control programs conducted by the New York State Department of Health.
New York State Department of Health statistics show:
- Among high school students, smoking prevalence has dropped significantly between 2000 and 2014 from 27.1 percent to 7.3 percent, a 73.1 percent decrease;
- Among middle school students, smoking prevalence has dropped significantly between 2000 and 2014 from 10.2 percent to 1.2 percent, an 88.2 percent decrease;
- Every year, tobacco-related health care costs New Yorkers $10.4 billion, of which Medicaid covers $3.3 billion;
- Lost productivity from smoking costs New York State more than $6 billion annually.
Reality Check is an anti-smoking movement sponsored by the New York State Department of Health which alerts teens to tobacco company marketing strategies and promotes teens as decision makers in their own lives, as well as role models in their communities.