Wednesday 03 Sep 2014

Information and opinions presented here do not always represent the views of the American Heart Association.

Tobacco prevention efforts fall short by billions

Published: 2:49 pm CDT, December 10, 2013

 

States will spend about $481 million on programs to prevent or curb tobacco use next year, well below the $3.7 billion recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, killing 440,000 people each year.

Although states are expected to earn about $25 billion next year in revenue that’s linked to tobacco, including $7 billion from settlements between states and leading tobacco companies, most are falling short on tobacco prevention efforts, according to a report from the American Heart Association and other public health groups.

States reached $246 billion in legal settlements against the tobacco industry 15 years ago.

Other key findings released in the report include:

  • Over the past 15 years, the states have received $390.8 billion in tobacco-generated revenue – $116.3 billion from the tobacco settlement and $274.5 billion from tobacco taxes. But they have spent only 2.3 percent of their tobacco money – $8.9 billion – on tobacco prevention programs.
  • This year (fiscal year 2014), the states will collect $25 billion in tobacco revenues, but will spend only 1.9 percent of it – $481.2 million – on tobacco prevention programs.
  • Only two states – North Dakota and Alaska – are funding tobacco prevention programs at the CDC-recommended level. Only four other states – Delaware, Wyoming, Hawaii and Oklahoma – provide even half the recommended funding. Find out how each state ranks.
  • Tobacco companies spend more than $18 to market tobacco products for every one dollar the states spend to reduce tobacco use. In 2011, the latest data available from the Federal Trade Commission, tobacco companies spend $8.8 billion a year to market cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.