|New York City Department of Health |
Office of Public Affairs
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
CONTACT: Sandra Mullin/Andrew Tucker
Friday, May 31, 2002
ON "WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY" 2002,
NEW YORK CITY HEALTH COMMISSIONER WARNS NEW YORKERS ABOUT THE DANGERS OF SMOKING
Today, on "World No Tobacco Day," New York City Health Commissioner, Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, advised New Yorkers on the dangers of smoking with 10 facts every New Yorker should know:
- Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in NYC.
- One of every five deaths, and approximately one of three preventable deaths in New York City, is smoking-related. Tobacco causes more deaths than AIDS, alcohol, suicide, and homicide combined.
- Secondhand smoke kills 1,000 of these New Yorkers every year.
- 1 in 10 infant deaths in the United States is associated with smoking.
- Nicotine is as addictive as cocaine, heroin, alcohol, and crack. Without help, only 1 in 20 smokers who want to quit are able to do so.
- Smoking is not just related to lung cancer; it also causes cancers of the esophagus, throat, bladder, liver, larynx, kidney, pancreas, and cervix, as well as obstructive lung and coronary heart diseases.
- Many more women die from lung cancer than from breast cancer.
- New York City spends $4.1 billion in annual health care costs to treat tobacco-related illnesses. The tobacco industry spends about $10 billion every year to recruit new smokers, including at least $300 million in New York City.
- People who quit, regardless of age, live longer than people who continue to smoke – and those who quit before age 50 halve their risk of dying within the next 15 years. After 10-15 years, a previous tobacco user's risk of premature death approaches that of a person who has never smoked.
To stop smoking, New Yorkers can call New York's toll free Smokers' Quitline at 1-888-609-6292.