NYS Seal

New York State Assembly
Notice of Public Hearing

Committee on Health
Richard N. Gottfried, Chair

Evaluation of the Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program
Wednesday, February 9, 2005, 12:00
Meeting Room 1, Empire State Plaza, Concourse Level
Albany, New York

The Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program, as administered by the State Department of Health (DOH) and funded through the Health Care Reform Act, was established in 2000 to address tobacco use as a serious threat to the health of New Yorkers.

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable deaths across the nation, directly linked to the premature loss of more than 440,000 lives each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that smoking results in the deaths of 25,000 New Yorkers each year. In addition to the tremendous human suffering resulting from tobacco use, the economic costs of this deadly addiction are staggering. In 1998 alone, the financial burden of smoking in New York exceeded $11.7 billion, including $6.4 billion in direct medical expenditures and $5.3 billion in productivity losses.

New York State has experienced a decline in smoking by both adults and teenagers, which is similar to trend seen across the nation. The Legislature has initiated several important efforts in the past few years that have helped the rates decline, such as the historic Clean Indoor Air Act of 2003, which protects working New Yorkers from the dangers of secondhand smoke, and increases in cigarette taxes. Despite these successes, it is clear that not enough is being done to keep cigarettes out of the hands of teenagers and help the thousands of New Yorkers that truly want to quit smoking kick the habit.

In late November 2004, DOH released the first independent evaluation of the Tobacco Use Prevention and Control program. While it was over three years late (an annual evaluation of the program is required by statute, the first of which was due to the Legislature by September 1, 2001), the evaluation provides a comprehensive look at the program and the accomplishments that have been made in this state to combat tobacco use. It also allows for a critical look at the failings of the program, such as the cumbersome bureaucratic procedures involved and the failure to implement an effective media campaign, and the changes that should be made to further decrease rates of tobacco use in New York State.

The purpose of this hearing is to give the Assembly Committee on Health the opportunity to hear from Health Department officials, anti-tobacco advocates and experts in the field of tobacco control on the evaluation of the Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program. Witnesses are encouraged to provide specific recommendations as to how the Program should be improved, and how best to approach the problem of tobacco use in this State.

Oral testimony will be limited to ten minutes in length. All testimony is under oath. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committee will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. This request should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as soon as possible. Ten copies of any prepared statement should be submitted at the hearing registration table.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the New York State Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.

Questions about this hearing may be directed to Lara Kassel of the Assembly Health Committee staff at 518-455-4941 or kassell@assembly.state.ny.us.

Evaluation of the Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program
Reply Form - Please Respond By Friday, February 4, 2005

Mail to: Assembly Health Committee, Room 822, Legislative Office Bldg., Albany, NY, 12248
or fax to: 518-455-5939

box I plan to testify at the February 9 hearing on evaluation of the Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program.

box I plan to attend, but not testify, at the February 9 hearing on evaluation of the Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program.

box I will require assistance and/or handicapped accessibility information. Please specify type of assistance required:


Title (if applicable):

Organization (if any):





*** Click here for printable form ***

New York State Assembly
[ Welcome Page ] [ Committee Updates ]