BOSTON (WWLP) — Eight thousand people in Massachusetts die each year from smoking, making it the leading cause of preventable death in the state.
The Department of Public Health says smoking-related diseases account for 10% of all health care costs in the state, which amounts to a full $4.3 billion each year. Seventy-seven percent of smokers claim to want to quit, but anti-tobacco advocates say there is a lack of funding for smoking cessation programs. They are calling for laws increasing the price of tobacco and mandating more community outreach.
“Not funding a tobacco control program is like having a vaccine against a serious disease and walking away from it,” said Dr. Blake Cady, the former President of the
American Cancer Society in Massachusetts.
Anti-tobacco advocates failed to get lawmakers to pass a $1.25 tax hike on cigarettes this year, but they intend to re-launch efforts to get similar legislation passed next session.
They encourage anyone who wants to quit smoking to call the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
Copyright 2014 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Did you like this article? Vote it up or down! And don't forget to add your comments below!