One in Five New York Men Use Tobacco

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Men Disproportionately Impacted by Tobacco Use, Particularly Men with Low Incomes and/or Less than a High School Education

(New York, NY) – Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., responsible for more than 480,000 deaths annually. Disproportionately impacted by tobacco use, both in New York State and nationally, are men, who account for more than 60 percent of all tobacco-related deaths in New York State.2 Nearly one in five males use tobacco, with prevalence rates highest among individuals with low incomes and/or less than a high school education or GED.1 Men also are significantly less likely to have contact with the health care system than their female counterparts, making it critical for health systems to screen this population for tobacco use and provide tobacco dependence counseling and treatment at every encounter.3  While 70 percent of all tobacco users want to quit, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half will make a quit attempt this year and fewer than 10 percent of tobacco users ultimately will succeed on their first quit attempt.4,5

To help address this issue, efforts are underway to ensure all New Yorkers are screened for tobacco use and have access to tobacco dependence treatment, as well as resources to help them quit. With funding from the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Tobacco Control, 10 regional contractors are working with health care organizations across the State to implement health systems improvements to integrate evidence-based tobacco dependence screening and treatment into standard care delivery. As the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement (COE for HSI) for a Tobacco-Free New York, CAI is supporting the efforts of the 10 regional contractors through the provision of training, technical assistance, and tool and resource development, as well as the promotion of policies to further facilitate the integration of evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment into care Statewide.

“By working on the systems level, specifically within systems that serve populations for which tobacco use prevalence rates have not decreased in recent years, we can assure that every patient is asked about tobacco use at every clinical encounter and offered evidence-based treatment. These efforts, in turn, will increase our chances of helping tobacco users, particularly men, take advantage of the resources available to help them quit,” said Elizabeth Jones, Director of the COE for HSI.

A December 2014 report released by the CDC confirms that receiving tobacco dependence treatment assistance from a physician more than doubles the odds that a tobacco user will quit successfully.

“In observance of Men's Health Month, June is an opportune time to focus on treating men, particularly those with low incomes, who deserve an opportunity to address this deadly addiction,” noted Elizabeth Jones. “We’ve got to make tobacco dependence treatment a priority and a standard part of the health care they receive, regardless of the reason for which they seek out care.”

Annually, more than 82 percent of adults in the U.S. have contact with a health care professional, resulting in one billion opportunities to screen for tobacco use and deliver life-saving tobacco dependence treatment.7

For more information about the work of the COE for HSI, visit www.tobaccofreeny.org.

About CAI: CAI is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of underserved populations worldwide. For 36 years CAI has provided customized capacity building services to health and human service organizations in over 27 countries and in all 50 states. Offering over 1,500 training programs annually, CAI’s passionate staff works to fulfill its mission: to use the transformative power of education and research to foster a more aware, healthy, compassionate and equitable world. For more information about CAI, visit our website: www.caiglobal.org.

About the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement: With funding from the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Tobacco Control, CAI serves as the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement (COE for HSI) for a Tobacco-Free NY. The COE for HSI promotes large-scale systems and policy changes to support the universal provision of evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment services. The COE for HSI aims to support 10 contractors throughout New York State working regionally with health care systems and organizations that serve those populations for which smoking prevalence rates have not decreased in recent years - adults with low income, less than a high school diploma and/or poor mental health. Focused on providing capacity building assistance services around topics like how to engage and obtain buy-in from leadership to implement the kinds of systems-level changes that will result in identification and intervention with every tobacco user who seeks care, the COE for HSI also will offer materials and resources to support contractors in their regional work. For more information, click here to visit the project website.


[1] “Bureau of Tobacco Control StatShot, Vol. 8, No. 2/Feb 2015,” New York State Department of Health, Feb. 2015. Accessed 23 June 2015 at: https://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/tobacco_control/reports/statshots/volume8/n2_adult_smoking_prevalence_in_2013.pdf.
[2] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: 50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014. Printed with corrections, January 2014. Accessed 23 June 2015 at: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/50-years-of-progress/full-report.pdf.
[3] Kaiser Family Foundation. Putting Men’s Health Care Disparities on the Map: Examining Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities at the State Level, September 2012. Accessed 23 June 2015 at: https://kaiserfamilyfoundation.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/8344.pdf.
[4] “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Vol. 60, No. 44: Quitting Smoking Among Adults—United States, 2001-2010,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 11 Nov. 2011. Accessed 23 June 2015 at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/wk/mm6044.pdf.
[5] "Immediate Rewards of Quitting," Guide to Quitting Smoking. American Cancer Society, 1 Jan. 2011.
[6] “National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2010 Summary Tables,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010. Accessed 23 June 2015 at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ahcd/namcs_summary/2010_namcs_web_tables.pdf.
[7] Fiore et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 2008
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