On the 14th anniversary of the landmark 1998 state tobacco settlement, a new report finds that states this year will collect $25.6 billion in revenue from the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend less than two percent of it - $459.5 million - on tobacco prevention and cessation programs. This means the states spend less than two cents of every dollar of their tobacco revenue to fight tobacco use, putting the nation's efforts to fight tobacco at risk. States are spending just 12 percent of what the CDC recommends for tobacco prevention programs.
Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in our country, killing more than 400,000 Americans every year. As the nation implements health care reform, the report warns that states are missing a golden opportunity to reduce tobacco-related health care costs, which total $96 billion a year in the U.S. Studies show states can save $5 in tobacco-related medical costs for every $1 spent on tobacco prevention and cessation programs.
This annual report is issued by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. For more information, visit www.tobaccofreekids.org.