ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Anti-smoking advocates are encouraging New York state to increase funding for programs that help smokers quit and discourage young people from picking up the habit.

Groups including the American Heart Association, American Lung Association, the American cancer Society and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids say the state spends far less on tobacco control than is recommended by federal authorities.

Another tobacco-related proposal would raise the state smoking age from 18 to 21.

Hawaii, California and cities including New York have already enacted laws prohibiting those under 21 from buying cigarettes.

Supporters say that when combined with public health outreach efforts raising the smoking age will prevent many teens from risking their health by becoming addicted at an early age.

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