Tobacco Prevention Funding
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently released a report titled "A Broken Promise to Our Children: The 1998 Tobacco Settlement 11 Years Later". Some of the key findings of the report include:
The states this year (Fiscal Year 2010) will collect $25.1 billion in revenue from the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend barely 2 percent of it—$567.5 million—on tobacco prevention and cessation programs (the states also receive $62 million in federal grants for tobacco prevention, for total funding of $629.5 million).
In the past year, states have cut funding for tobacco prevention programs by $103.4 million, or 15.4 percent. New York has made the largest cut—$25.2 million, or 31 percent—despite having a highly successful program that has reduced smoking rates to well below the national average. Other states with large cuts include Colorado, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington.
Only one state—North Dakota—currently funds a tobacco prevention program at the level recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Only nine other states fund tobacco prevention programs at even half the level recommended by CDC, and 31 states and D.C. are providing less than a quarter of the recommended funding.
If you are interested in the full text of the report, you will find it here: http://www.rwjf.org/files/research/20091209brokenpromisetoourchildren.pdf.
After reading it, you may want to call your representative in Congress and find out where that extra money is going!