Posted March 12, 2012


Cites US Surgeon General’s New Report Indicating Tobacco IndustryContinues to Invest Billions to Recruit New Smokers


Kingston, NY - Citing findings from the newly released US Surgeon General’s Report, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults, which indicates that tobacco useremains a “pediatric epidemic” afflicting millions of children, County Executive Mike Hein called for stepped up efforts to protect children in Ulster County.“The $10.5 billion dollars, spent annually by tobacco companies to market their products andrecruit new smokers, is simply unacceptable,” said County Executive Hein. “The annual tobacco marketing expenditure exceeds those of the fast food, beer and soda industries combined and much of it is targeted to our kids. In fact, for each of the 443,000 Americans who die from tobacco use every year, at least two youths or young adults become new regular smokers.”

County Executive Hein added, “In Ulster County we have worked with our towns and villages to restrict smoking on public property, especially near parks and playgrounds. In fact, most of Ulster County’s municipalities have policies or legislation in place to limit smoking on public property. We have also stepped up the enforcement of existing laws regarding the marketing oftobacco products to youth, however, as the Surgeon General’s report indicates, it’s not enoughand more needs to be done. My administration is in the process of researching new retail licensing and in-store display advertising legislation designed to reduce the impact of marketing aimed at our kids. We will take all necessary steps to stop the tobacco industry from targeting our youth.”Ulster County Public Health Director, Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said, “The Department of Health iscommitted to protecting our youth from big tobacco, and preventing them from becoming the next generation of replacement smokers. Fortunately, 3 out of 4 youth in Ulster County resist smoking. We are working with key stakeholders to build on these odds.”Ellen Reinhard, Executive Director of the Tobacco Free Action Coalition said, “Every day, ourkids are exposed to a tremendous amount of tobacco marketing in convenience stores, gas stations, pharmacies and grocery stores. It is not an accident that tobacco products are displayed in the most visible location in stores - directly behind the checkout counter. In fact, almost 90%of all regular smokers begin smoking before age 18. Exposure to tobacco marketing in stores is aprimary cause of youth smoking that is why we need to take action to protect our kids.”The Surgeon General’s full report, Executive Summary and a consumer guide to preventingtobacco use among youth and young adults can be found via a link on the home page of Ulster County’s new health prevention website at