New York State envisions a commercial tobacco-free and vape-free society for all New Yorkers. Since 2000 the New York State Tobacco Control Program has worked to reduce illness, disability, and death related to commercial tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure, and to alleviate social and economic inequities caused by tobacco use. The program uses an evidence-based, policy-driven, and population-level approach to tobacco control and prevention with a commitment to promote health equity among populations disproportionately impacted by tobacco marketing and use. The Tobacco Control Program’s efforts and actions have contributed to record-low youth and adult smoking rates in NYS.

The NY State average adult smoking rate is 12%[I] down from more than 23% in 2001[ii].

The primary unmet need of tobacco control is reducing smoking among subsets of the population whose tobacco use rates approach double the state average. Smoking rates remain high among adult New Yorkers:
– reporting frequent mental distress,
– enrolled in Medicaid,
– with less than a high school education,
– whose household income is less than $25,000 annually, and
– living with a disability[iii].

Nearly one in four high school-age youth in New York State vape/use e-cigarettes[iv].

[i] BRFSS Number 2022-12 Cigarette Smoking New York State Adults 2020.  
[ii] Bureau of Tobacco Control StatShot Vol. 14, No. 3/Sept. 2021, Milestones in Tobacco Use.  
[iii] BRFSS Number 2022-12 Cigarette Smoking New York State Adults 2020. 
[iv] Bureau of Tobacco Control StatShot Vol. 14, No. 3/Sept. 2021, Milestones in Tobacco Use. 


  1. The Toll of Tobacco in New York – Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (
  2. New York State Department of Health, Smoking and Disease ( (Accessed 12/14/2022)
  3. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (Accessed 12/14/2022)
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health. BRFSS Prevalence & Trends Data CDC, 2020
  5. Bureau of Tobacco Control StatShot Vol. 14, No. 3/Sept.2021
  6. Harrell, MB, et al. Flavored Tobacco Product Use among Youth and Young Adults: What if Flavors Didn’t Exist? Tob Regul Sci, 2017 April; 3(2): 168-173
  7. Bureau of Tobacco Control StatShot Vol.14, No. 1/Jan 2021

Center for Disease Control: Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs. Section C: Recommended Funding Levels, by State: New York, Page 110;

The “It’s Not Just” campaign is intended to educate people across New York State about the injustice of menthol-flavored tobacco product marketing and promotion. The campaign describes how menthol is more than a flavor, highlighting hard-hitting facts about the manipulative, aggressive nature of menthol tobacco marketing

“The tobacco industry aggressively targets its marketing to certain populations, including young people, women, and racial and ethnic minority groups, particularly Black people. These groups are more likely to smoke menthol cigarettes compared to other population groups.”

Legislative Education Day is an event where youth, tobacco control experts, and concerned community members head to Albany to provide education about the problem with tobacco that exists in our communities and that tobacco is still taking lives. There is a human cost and an economic burden to New Yorkers.