Higher cigarette tax in NY helps smokers quit

June 17th, 2008 - 12:08 am ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

A New York health official declared that a higher tax on cigarettes can help smokers quit the nasty habit and the strategy is a success.

New York Health Commissioner Dr. Richard Daines said. Fewer than 2,300 people called for help during the same week in 2007.

“Not everyone that tries, quits,” Daines said. “We estimate about 140,000 New Yorkers will successfully quit smoking. We may have more than a million try to cut down or stop, but this is how you get people to try: give them multiple chances and multiple reasons to stop.” The increase that took effect June 3 sent the tax from 1.25 U.S. dollars to 2.75 dollars per pack — the highest in the U. S. In most of the states, cigarettes range between 6 dollars and 8 dollars a pack, and can cost as much as 10 dollars in New York City, which has its own tax. Audrey Silk, who heads NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, said the boost in calls doesn’t realistically represent how many people will become nonsmokers. “No matter the goal, it’s disgusting that any group would actually boast that coercive government - this time through the hammer of taxation - to beat a class of society enjoying a legal product into submission is ’successful’,” Silk said.

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