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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lack of Anti-Smoking Campaigns

It's no secret, tobacco products kill! Sadly, statistics indicate that miniscule amounts of funding generated from tobacco taxes actually goes to anti-smoking campaigns. The American Lung Association reported that states use little of the income they receive from tobacco taxes or legal settlements with cigarette manufacturers to support smoking prevention or cessation programs.

States receive a whopping $25.7 billion in tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes annually, yet more than 40 states do not invest even half of what is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in proven tobacco prevention programs, according to the report.

A total of $462.5 million was spent on smoking prevention and cessation programs this fiscal year, which is about 12.5 percent of the CDC's recommendation. Fortunately, some states came close to CDC compliance; North Dakota and Alaska were the only states that spent amounts close to the recommendation. However, most states put their tobacco-related income toward their general budgets.

“By not having a level playing field with tobacco taxes, we’re seeing market shifts from cigarettes to lesser taxed and subsequently more affordable tobacco products. This means candy flavored cigars and a new wave of smokeless products are enticing new, young customers to become addicted to nicotine,” Paul G. Billings, American Lung Association Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Education, said in a news release.
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