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Fewer dollars for smoking prevention

December 11, 2009 |  4:26 pm
Even as states pull in billions of dollars in tobacco settlement money – part of which is typically used to fund anti-smoking programs – they're slashing the amount they spend on such programs by 15%.

Altogether, states will spend $567.5 million on anti-smoking efforts in the 2010 fiscal year, says a report released by five groups including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Cancer Action Network.  That’s less than a fifth of the nearly $3.7 billion recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And although $3.7 billion might sound like a lot, the states will receive more than $25 billion in tobacco funds.

Meanwhile, the CDC says the smoking rate hasn't changed much in the last few years -- in 2008, 20.8% of adults were smokers, slightly higher than 2007's 19.7%. There may be a connection between the slowing of the smoking decline and the drop in prevention funding. Consider last year's report on cancer incidences and death rates, a collaboration spearheaded by the National Cancer Institute, which linked California's smoking controls and its declining smoking rate.

Here’s a multimedia tutorial about smoking and its effects, thanks to the National Institutes of Health. We don't want all this progress to go up in smoke now, do we?

-- Amina Khan
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Comments (2)

At the state level smokers have been beaten over the head -- and many into submission -- with "the message." Even non-smokers are fatigued by it and think it's enough already. But the message will easily carry on without state-based tobacco control programs once the FDA implements all the provisions of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Act. State-based anti-smoking organizations and funding should be rendered obsolete now that the FDA has been awarded direct oversight of tobacco control. Eliminating the redundancy will save states tens and tens of millions of dollars a year that could be put toward more immediate and pressing issues.

Perhaps members of these groups are more concerned with what less funding will mean to their jobs?

Founder, NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (C.L.A.S.H.)

How much money do the states get in from tobacco = 25 billion and how much goes to anti smoking only one fifth of the recommended amount, which is less than one fith of what they get...567.5 million, still a huge amount and what is the result. Actually, the rate of adults smoking has actually risen slightly. Why, because when we are 'anti' something we actually give it energy by the act of focusing on that thing. We would be much wiser to invest some of that money into helping people to relax, so they no longer feel the urge to smoke. Try and
become a healthier. It worked for me,I went from around 20 a day for over 20 years to totally quitting and that was 10 years ago. I'm happy I did it and I know that it's possible.


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