To the editor:
Did you know that tobacco products cause more deaths than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined? This is a fact, according to the CDC (federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). We have to do something to make this number decrease.
In March of 2012, the surgeon general declared tobacco use a pediatric epidemic. It is our children's lives that we are trying to save. Big tobacco is winning the fight in New York. Their intentional marketing to our youth appears to be working. More than 90 percent of adults who smoke started by the age of 18 and 99 percent by the age of 26. I have three grandchildren, and I don't want any of them to die from a tobacco-related illness, and I am willing to make a stand for them. Are you, for your children and grandchildren? We need to let our legislators know that this pediatric epidemic is important for the sake of our children.
New York state has reduced its spending on tobacco control programs by 50 percent since 2008. It is important that these programs continue to receive funding to ensure that our message is not lost. Please reach out to our legislators and let them know how you feel; together we can and will make a difference. Let them know that we need to continue receiving the funding for these programs to save our children's and grandchildren's lives.