The Iowa State Legislature cut funding for tobacco control programs by 65% this year. As a result, the state will no longer encourage children and teenagers to stay away from cigarettes, and adults will no longer be reminded of the health issues related to tobacco use. This is truly dangerous for the people of Iowa, particularly children who may never learn the risks of smoking.
In the past, Iowa's tobacco control programs have been proven to be incredibly effective. From 2000 to 2008 youth smoking rates in Iowa dropped dramatically (a full 13%). With recent budget cuts, these youth smoking rates are bound to increase again.
Tell the Iowa State Legislature and Gov. Branstad to put our kids first and support funding for tobacco prevention and cessation services in Iowa.
These tobacco control programs have been proven effective again and again. Youth smoking rates have dropped from 33% in 2000 to 20% in 2008 and adult smoking decreased from 23% in 2000 to 14% in 2008. These programs must be re-instated immediately to help save lives.
Iowa should be focused on keeping kids healthy and helping parents live long and healthy lives. Reducing funding for tobacco control leaves our kids vulnerable - it's just not right. Put our kids first.