January 26, 2010 - Today, January 21st the Legacy(SM) -- a national public health foundation devoted to tobacco cessation and prevention -- asked the Ohio Supreme Court to hear the appeal in its case seeking to preserve tobacco funds and the life-saving tobacco control programs they support in Ohio. Legacy created as a result of the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), stepped forward in April 2008 to help safeguard the tobacco settlement dollars Ohio had set aside for tobacco control.
Today's action came in response to Legacy's deep disappointment in the New Year's Eve decision of the Ohio Court of Appeals of Franklin County, Tenth Appellate District. In that ruling, the appeals court reversed a lower court's order permanently enjoining [for a court to order that someone either do a specific act, cease a course of conduct or be prohibited from committing a certain act] the State from dissolving the Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Endowment Fund. (OHIO - appeals court rules on December 31, 2009 the state can use money set aside for tobacco prevention..; A judge ruled Tuesday, August 11, 2009 that state officials had no authority to divert $230 million from an anti-tobacco fund to balance the recently approved state budget.)
Former Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery and Ohio and National Public Health Leaders File Friend of the Court Briefs in Support of the Appeal. Ohio and national public health organizations that have urged the court to hear the appeal. A third brief was filed by the Citizen's Commission to Protect the Truth which is comprised of former Surgeons General, Directors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Secretaries of Health and Human Services/ Health, Education and Welfare.
Research shows that tobacco takes an enormous toll on Ohio - both in lives lost and dollars spent. Ohio's smoking rate is 20.1 percent, just below the national average of 20.6 percent, thanks in large measure to the work of the Ohio Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Endowment Fund. Smoking costs Ohio more than $4 billion in annual health care costs and another $4.7 billion annually in smoking-related productivity loss (in 2004 dollars). A 2007 report by Legacy found that Ohio's Medicaid system could save $550 million within five years if all Medicaid beneficiaries who smoke, quit.
See reference for a TIMELINE of activity related to the Ohio tobacco funding dispute.
Reference: Legacy(SM) Files Appeal Today to Ohio Supreme Court, Source: Legacy Foundation, 1/21/2010.
Related news briefs:
OHIO - American Legacy Foundation will appeal decision to allow state to use tobacco funds..;
OHIO - appeals court rules state can use money set aside for tobacco prevention..;
OHIO - judge rules money can not be diverted from anti-tobacco fund..;
Ohio - state will provide NO funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs..;
Ohio - don't cut spending on anti-tobacco programs it will cost the state much more in the long run..;
Ohio youth are using cigars and smokeless tobacco products and it is a continuously growing problem...