States continue to sacrifice tobacco prevention programs, although a few states show a welcome increase

WASHINGTON, January 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — As the country continues to face a dual health threat from an unprecedented respiratory pandemic and a youth e-cigarette epidemic that threatens millions of young people with lifelong addiction, a new report highlights how most states continue to circumvent programs designed to prevent children from using tobacco products and help smokers quit. A handful of states, however, show a promising way forward for other states.

The report is a challenge for states to do more to tackle smoking — still the nation’s leading preventable cause of death — and prevent e-cigarettes from becoming addictive for a new generation of children.

This year (fiscal year 2022), States will collect $27 billion the Tobacco Regulations 1998 and tobacco taxes. But they will spend a paltry 2.7% – just $718.5 million – on prevention and smoking cessation programs. This total represents a 9.5% increase over last year, but remains just one-fifth (21.7%) of the total funding recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The overall increase in spending can be attributed primarily to three states – Oregon, California and North Carolina. from oregon increase is due to a $2– A per-pack tobacco tax increase that voters strongly endorsed in 2020, with funds allocated to prevention and smoking cessation programs. California spending has been strong since voters overwhelmingly approved a $2– increase in the tobacco tax per packet in 2016. North Carolina has additional funds thanks to its recent legal settlement with Juul, the company most responsible for the e-cigarette epidemic among young people.

Despite these increases, not a single state is currently funding its smoking cessation and prevention programs at CDC-recommended levels, and only 10 states are providing even half the recommended amount. And the top three states in terms of actual spending (California, Florida and New York) spent in total $365.4 million or more than the other 47 states and washington d.c. combined ($353.2 million). These low levels of funding are even more alarming when compared to the more than $8.4 billion the tobacco industry spends every year to market its deadly and addictive products.

The report – “Broken Promises to Our Children: A State-by-State Look at the 1998 Tobacco Settlement” – was released today by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Americans Initiative for Nonsmokers’ Rights and Truth. These organizations have published annual reports since November 1998 historic legal agreement between 46 states and major tobacco companies, which – along with individual agreements with four other states – required the companies to pay more than $246 billion over time as compensation for smoking-related health care costs.

View the report, including state-by-state information and a ranking of states.

The report comes as the use of electronic cigarettes by young people remains a serious public health problem. With 2 million American children using e-cigarettes, 11.3% of them high school students, states should spend more of their tobacco dollars on fighting this epidemic.

Government surveys show that 20.8% of American adults and 23.6% of high school students still use some form of tobacco, with smoking rates of 14% for adults and 4.6% for high school students. The United States also faces large disparities in who still smokes. Adult smoking rates remain highest among low-income and less-educated people, Midwestern and Southern residents, American Indian/Alaska Natives, LGBTQ Americans, those who are not insured or enrolled in Medicaid and those with mental illness. Additionally, black Americans are dying at higher rates of smoking-caused diseases, largely due to the tobacco industry’s predatory targeting of black communities with menthol cigarettes. In total, smoking kills more than 480,000 people and is responsible for more than $226 billion health care spending in the United States each year.

“Tobacco companies remain as relentless as ever in marketing their addictive and harmful products – including menthol cigarettes, flavored e-cigarettes and flavored cigars – so it is essential that states step up their efforts to protect our children and help smokers quit,” mentioned Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “We know how to win the fight against tobacco, but most states fall woefully short. They are literally sacrificing the health of their children and costing taxpayers billions by refusing to properly fund tobacco prevention efforts and ignoring the mountain of evidence that these programs are saving Policy makers need to step up and implement the proven strategies that can end the hold Big Tobacco has had on this country for too long.

To accelerate progress, policy makers at all levels should fully implement proven measures to reduce tobacco use. In addition to funding tobacco prevention programs, these strategies include stopping the sale of all flavored tobacco products, significant increases in tobacco taxes, comprehensive smoke-free laws, hard-hitting media campaigns and media coverage. barrier-free insurance for smoking cessation treatment.

Other key findings from the report:

  • Oregon (93.9%) and Alaska (89.6%) are the only states to provide even three-quarters of the CDC-recommended funding for smoking prevention and cessation programs.
  • Only 10 states (Oregon, Alaska, Utah, California, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Delaware, Wyoming, Hawaii and Maine) provide more than half of the funding recommended by the CDC.
  • 33 States and CC provide less than 25% of what the CDC recommends; 19 states provide less than 10%.
  • Connecticut again allocated no state funds for tobacco prevention programs.
  • Tobacco companies spend more than $11 market tobacco products for each $1 states are investing to reduce tobacco use. According to the most recent data from the Federal Trade Commission (for 2020), the major cigarette and smokeless tobacco companies spend $8.4 billion a year – almost $1 million per hour – on marketing.

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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids

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