Smokers on low incomes in the New York areas are blowing up to 25% of their monthly income on feeding their habits, according to the results of a new study. advocates for smokers’ rights, quickly responded to insist that the results prove that the government’s insistence on imposing massive taxes on tobacco was not only ineffective, but entirely counterproductive for society as a whole.
According to the American Cancer Society however, the data showed more of a need to ensure that smokers in New York on lower incomes are either helped to kick the habit entirely, or prevented from starting smoking in the first place.
The results were made public this week by the Public Health and Policy Research program of RTI.
By contrast, the study suggested that those in a higher income bracket – smokers earning in excess of $60,000 per year – generally spend around 2% of their income on cigarettes and tobacco.
Across the US as a whole, over $600 million is taken from poorer smokers every year and barely a penny is invested in effective means of helping them cut down or quite, according to the ACS.
The statistics following the study suggest that those in the income bracket of $30,000 per year and under are funding 39% of New York’s overall state taxes on tobacco. Critics are once again speaking angrily about the government’s apparent lack of interest in using this extensive revenue to fund anti-smoking programs.
Previous studies have also highlighted a variety of other obstacles preventing poorer smokers from cutting down or quitting, including the high prices of aids and supplements offered to ease cravings.
Advocacy groups on both sides of the smoking argument have agreed that the excessive taxes imposed on cigarettes and tobacco are regressive at best.
In other health news, a new study has revealed the extent of the ongoing childhood obesity epidemic in Canada, where nearly a third of children between the ages of five and 17 are clinically obese.
While childhood obesity figures haven’t increased significantly over recent years, the country’s health authorities have stated that the situation is severe and improving very little.
In the five to 11 year age bracket, obesity in boys was also found to be considerably higher than in girls – 19.5% and 6.2% respectively.
Medical experts across Canada have pinpointed much of the blame for the ongoing health crisis as the easy availability of empty calories, combined with modern conveniences. While kids are now able to buy and consume fast-food practically at every turn, the ongoing prevalence of video games and online entertainment continues to eat away at traditional outdoor recreation and exercise.
Along with accepting the problem for the extensive threat to public health that it is, authorities have reiterated the need to work directly with parents and schools in order to iron out dozens of detrimental habits.