Independent Evaluation: State's Anti-Smoking Efforts Poised to Have Significant Impact on Public Health

Study Notes Expanded Capacity and Doubling of Program Funding

ALBANY, October 24, 2006 - The New York State Health Department today announced the release of the third independent evaluation of New York's anti-smoking and tobacco control program that noted a doubling of the program budget and expanded capacity to address tobacco use in New York.

The third annual "Independent Evaluation of New York's Tobacco Control Program," (PDF, 956KB, 92pg.) required under the 2000 Health Care Reform Act (HCRA), was prepared by the Public Health Policy Research Program at RTI international of North Carolina. RTI was selected through a competitive bidding process to conduct an independent evaluation of the New York Tobacco Control Program (NYTCP) from 2003 through 2007.

"I am gratified to see that this independent evaluation report recognizes the considerable progress we have made in building a first rate tobacco control program," said Commissioner Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H.

The report specifically praised new program initiatives to increase access to cessation services through the health care system and the success of Reality Check Youth Programs in reducing youth exposure to tobacco advertising in magazines.

New York has committed more than $250 million through 2006 to prevent and reduce tobacco use. New York youth and adult smoking rates are among the lowest in the nation.

Evaluation Report Highlights:

  • The percentage of smokers who received assistance with quitting from a health care provider increased substantially from 38 percent in 2003 to 58 percent in 2006.
  • The Quitline accomplished a significant achievement by servicing more than 100,000 calls in 2005 and supporting an estimated 28,350 quit attempts.
  • Nine out of ten Quitline callers who spoke with a Quitline specialist received free nicotine patches to aid their quit attempt.
  • Youth partners successfully advocated for reducing youth exposure to tobacco ads in popular magazines.

The report also contains constructive criticisms of New York's efforts to counter the near limitless marketing resources of the tobacco industry, recommending more consistent public awareness efforts and better coordination of activities across program components. Improvements in the Department's procurement and contract procedures will facilitate the consistent implementation of coordinated tobacco control programming. The report is available on the Department's website at http://www.health.ny.gov.