News sources have echoed the theme of "State of Tobacco Control 2013," that money is at the root of the leading cause of preventable death in America—tobacco use. News coverage followed the "money trail" which leads to a web of neglect and deception that interferes with the federal and state governments enacting proven tobacco control measures, while the tobacco industry spends fortunes creating and marketing an array of new products to addict our kids.
Many U.S. state governments use little of the money they receive each year from tobacco taxes or legal settlements with cigarette makers to fund programs that could help people kick the habit or prevent them from becoming smokers, according to a new report released recently.
Each year, more than $25 billion flows into coffers in some states, both from state excise taxes on tobacco products and payments made under a 1998 landmark anti-smoking agreement with tobacco companies, the American Lung Association said in a report titled "State of Tobacco Control 2013."
In its annual "State of Tobacco Control" progress report the ALA cited a "missed opportunity" to regulate and tax a new generation of tobacco products in the effort to keep young people from smoking.
We only fund a meager 15% of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends for a robust and comprehensive prevention program….at the same time, the tobacco industry here in California is spending 10 times as much marketing their tobacco as the state is spending on prevention.
Ohio generates more than $1 billion annually from taxes on tobacco products but puts no state dollars into reducing smoking, the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. That's one reason that Ohio received poor grades on the American Lung Association's annual State of Tobacco Control Report released today.
Health advocates link Ohio's lack of prevention and cessation programs to its statewide adult smoking rate, which was 25 percent in 2011, significantly higher than the nation's 19 percent rate.
The Lung Association grades all 50 states annually, an effort that highlights the triumphs and setbacks in the war on smoking. New York's latest report card contains grades at two extremes: two A's and two F's on state tobacco control efforts. The association estimates in its State of Tobacco Control report that smoking costs the nation $263 million a day in health care alone.
The Lung Association's 11th annual report put the state's adult smoking rate at 22.3 percent of the population in 2012, up from the 20.2 percent in 2011.
Tobacco causes an estimated 20,025 deaths in Pennsylvania annually, the Lung Association said, and costs the state's economy $9.4 billion in health care costs and lost productivity.
The federal government and the vast majority of states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, inadequately fund tobacco-use prevention programs, according to a leading health advocacy group. The American Lung Association gave the Garden and Keystone States failing grades for programs to protect citizens from tobacco-related diseases.
While praising the state as an early leader in persuading its residents to give up cigarettes, the Lung Association raps the state for not raising cigarette taxes higher than the current 87 cents a pack and decried voter rejection of a $1 per pack increase last year (Proposition 29). It said California is one of only three states that haven't raised smoking levies since 1999. It also singles out the Legislature for stalling action last year on Senate Bill 575, which would have removed exemptions from smoke-free places.
Texas gets an 'F' when it comes to spending money to prevent tobacco use, according to the American Lung Association. The state is among a crowd - 40 other states and the District of Columbia - who also flunked for spending less than half the money available from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes that should be spent for this purpose.