U..S. - states spending less and less of tobacco money on anti-smoking programs..

December 11, 2009 - The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK)issued its annual report assessing whether the states are keeping their promise to use a significant portion of their settlement funds — estimated at $246 billion over the first 25 years — to attack the enormous public health problems posed by tobacco use in the United States. In addition to the billions they receive every year from the tobacco settlement, the states collect billions more in tobacco taxes.

For 2009 Report and Related Materials..

State governments are collecting record revenues from tobacco companies but spending less and less of it on anti-smoking programs, especially in New York. In the report, titled “A Broken Promise to Our Children,” the CTFK state governments had reduced spending by 15 percent, to $567 million, for smoking prevention and cessation programs in the fiscal year that ended in September 2009.

New York State made some of the largest cuts to anti-smoking programs, reducing them by $25.2 million, or 31 percent, the report said, adding that it did so “despite having a successful program that has reduced smoking to well below national rates.”
Other states that made large cuts last year were Colorado, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington.

Only one state, North Dakota, has smoking prevention and cessation programs at the level recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the report said. Only nine other states fund tobacco prevention at even half the CDC-recommended level, while 31 states and DC provide less than a quarter of the recommended funding.

The report says tobacco companies spend $20 on marketing for every $1 that states spend on antismoking efforts. The five largest tobacco companies spent $12.5 billion on advertising and promotion in 2006, the latest year figures were available, a Federal Trade Commission spokeswoman, Betsy Lordan, said.

Adult smoking in the United States has leveled off at about 21 percent, virtually unchanged since 2004, the report said, while smoking among high school students declined to 20 percent in 2008, from 36 percent in 1997.

The other groups involved in the report, including the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said it was shortsighted to cut smoking programs. They called on Congress to ensure that more disease prevention initiatives were part of health care changes.

References: States Spending Less to Fight Smoking by DUFF WILSON, The New York Times, 12/9/2009; A Broken Promise to our Children, The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement, 11-years later, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 12/9/2009.



December 14, 2009 at 8:22 AM

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