New report reveals states fail to sufficiently fund tobacco prevention
A new report --"Broken Promises to Our Children: A State-by-State Look at the 1998 Tobacco Settlement 17 Years Later" –- reveals how states in the U.S. have failed to combat public health issues caused by tobacco use. The groundbreaking report comes seventeen years after the landmark 1998 state tobacco settlement in which states promised to use settlement funds to help prevent tobacco use.
The report shows that states have failed to use settlement funds to fight tobacco use. In fiscal year 2016 states will collect $25.8 billion from the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, yet will only spend $468 million -- 1.8 percent -- on smoking prevention programs. In comparison, data from the Federal Trade Commission shows that tobacco companies spend $9.6 billion a year on marketing efforts. According to the report, this means tobacco companies spend $20 to market tobacco products for every $1 the states spend to reduce tobacco use.
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Lack of funding for tobacco-use prevention at the state level undermines anti-tobacco efforts across the U.S. Despite the adult smoking rate being cut by 60 percent in the last 50 years, tobacco use is still the number one cause of preventable death in the country and tobacco related health care costs in the United States are extremely high, totaling about $170 billion a year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In order to end this deadly habit, states must fund compressive tobacco use prevention at CDC recommended levels.
"We know how to win the fight against tobacco, but most states are falling woefully short. These states are putting their children at risk and costing taxpayers billions by refusing to fund tobacco prevention programs that are proven to save lives and money," Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kid explained.
Here are other key facts from the report:
The "Broken Promises to Our Children: A State-by-State Look at the 1998 Tobacco Settlement 17 Years Later" report was released by a collective of public health organizations including Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights and Truth Initiative.
You can read the full report here and press release here.
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