Tell States to Use Tobacco Control Funds for Tobacco Prevention

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Tell States to Use Tobacco Control Funds for Tobacco Prevention

This petition had 218 supporters


A recent report by a coalition of health advocates indicates that almost all states have dramatically cut their tobacco prevention funding. Only two states, North Dakota and Alaska, currently fund their programs at the CDC-recommended levels. 

This is despite the fact that states receive billions of dollars from the master settlement agreement in addition to large sums from tobacco taxes. These funds are supposed to be spent preventing the enormous toll tobacco use takes on our society.

But they aren't.

According to the report, in Fiscal Year 2011, states "will collect over $25 billion in revenue from the settlement and taxes, but will spend only two percent of it on programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit." In addition, they have cut funding for such programs by 28 percent in the past three years.

Underfunded tobacco control programs lead to increases in smoking rates, disease and disability. As the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S., tobacco-related diseases cost $193 billion a year in lost productivity and smoking-associated health costs. States will ultimately lose money by not focusing on prevention. 

Already, declines in smoking rates are stagnating due to lack of prevention. 

We have more than enough money to fund effective control programs at CDC-recommended levels. Tell your state representative that you want to see tobacco control funds used for their intended purpose -- preventing tobacco use and saving lives. 



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