NJ Up In Smoke - New York News

NJ Up In Smoke

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Trenton, New Jersey (My9NJ) - A group of people in New Jersey are upset that the Garden State isn’t spending money on tobacco control advertising.

You would think that with all of the information out there pertaining to the dangers of smoking that more people would avoid picking up the habit, well that doesn’t seem to be the case in New Jersey.

In fact, there has been an increase in smoking, specifically among teens and many feel that is because Governor Christie cut the non-smoking education budget. The governor used to spend $30 million on smoking prevention programs which has now been cut down to zero.

Rutgers professor of psychiatry Dr. Jill Williams discussed what this means for New Jersey’s youth.

“A report recently was put out by a campaign for tobacco free kids and other important tobacco coalitions in the United States, and New Jersey unfortunately ranked 51st in this report. So we were the last state in the country in terms of not spending any money on tobacco prevention. So we need to do better,” she said.

The cut budget also included a hotline where people could look for anti-smoking help and counseling.

Another Doctor who is a member of the American Heart Association, Dr. Erol Veznedaroglu, agreed that this pattern has to change.

“There is no stopping point now, any child can walk in to any store and buy cigarettes. It’s really the resources aren’t there to be monitored,” he said.

Tobacco related health issues amount to about $3 billion more in healthcare costs per year in New Jersey.

Overall, smoking has been cut in half over the past 40 years among adults and since 1997 it’s been cut by more than half among kids. However study after study shows that the decrease has nothing to do with general health knowledge or advertising, but specifically about taxes.


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