Nuria Saldanha, Kat Long, Rai Chakravarty
New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman announced this week that the state will finally receive its $550 million settlement from tobacco companies, ending a ten-year standoff. But surprisingly, the money will not all go toward anti-smoking programs. According to CDC and New York Department of Health data, the state’s smoking rate has dropped drastically since the nation’s highest tobacco taxes were introduced more than a decade ago.
Smoking is a major public health issue, and tobacco-related health complications are costly to families and the government. This story will explain the state’s decrease in adult smoking using CDC and DOH datasets. The CDC list tallies state tobacco legislation since 1995; the CDC and DOH data (compiled by the team from several sources) list the adult cigarette smoking rates in the state over time. The data visualization will consist of a line chart showing the relation between cigarette tax increases and the corresponding drop in New York’s smoking rate.
The text will address other smoking statistics, such as smoking-related healthcare costs in the state. Sources from the CDC and the advocacy group NYC Smoke-Free will discuss other factors that may contribute to the smoking rate decrease, such as public smoking cessation programs. We will also interview smokers and former smokers for their opinions about cigarette taxes.
NYS DOH (multiple sources)
Dr. Brian Kang, Ph.D., the deputy director for research translation at the CDC
Interview scheduled for this Friday at 10 a.m.
Patrick Kwan, NYC Smoke-Free Director
We are in contact to set up an interview.
Ilana M. Knopf, director of the Public Health and Tobacco Policy Center
In the process of setting up an interview.
We are looking for smokers and former smokers for interviews.