Cigarette packs are on display for sale.

Cigarette packs are on display for sale. Credit: GETTY IMAGES

As a New Yorker, I was disheartened to hear that the New York State Tobacco Control Program has been slashed to $41 million ["Cuomo: So far, so good," News, April 9].

Over the years, the program has helped cut the rate of smoking among young New Yorkers from 27.1 percent to 12.6 percent. It funds cessation centers, the Quitline, distribution of nicotine replacement therapy and media campaigns. The program assisted 116,000 people who called the Quitline last year seeking help with their smoking habit, which is the greatest risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

While we can applaud the state budget being on time, these cuts to tobacco control will mean higher health care costs down the road.

Jeffrey Bernstein


Editor's note: The writer is the chairman of the American Heart Association's Long Island board of directors.