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Most US states not serious about funding tobacco prevention and cessation

| December 10, 2013

The U.S. state of North Dakota currently spends $9.5 million a year on tobacco prevention cessation programs, a level of funding that meets that recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But this level of funding represents only 14.8 percent of the $64.3 million revenue that this year the state will collect in tobacco taxes and payments from the 1998 tobacco settlement.

And yet North Dakota ranks in first place on the table of states protecting young people from tobacco,  according to the annual report on states’ funding of tobacco prevention programs titled A Broken Promise to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 15 Years Later.

The report was released yesterday by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Lung Association, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights.

The report assesses whether the states have kept their promise to use a significant portion of their settlement funds—estimated to total $246 billion over the first 25 years—to fight tobacco use.

North Dakota looks to be throwing money at the tobacco issue when compared with Missouri, which is in 50th place on the table of states protecting young people from tobacco.

Missouri currently spends $76,364 a year on tobacco prevention and cessation programs, which is 0.1 percent of the $73.2 million recommended by the CDC.

This is despite the fact that Missouri will this year collect $183.5 million in revenue from the 1998 tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes.

Nationally, the report finds that most states are failing adequately to fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs.

It finds that the states this year will collect $25 billion from the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend just 1.9 percent of that amount—$481.2 million—on tobacco prevention programs. That’s less than 2 cents of every dollar of tobacco revenue.

And it finds that states are falling woefully short of the CDC’s recommended funding levels for tobacco prevention programs.

Altogether, the states have budgeted just 13 percent of the $3.7 billion the CDC recommends.

Only two states, Alaska and North Dakota, currently fund tobacco prevention programs at the CDC-recommended level.

Category: Breaking News

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