Increase Funding for Iowa's Tobacco Prevention and Control Program
Increase Funding for Tobacco Prevention and Control
Tobacco Use is Still a Problem in Iowa. Tobacco-related diseases remain Iowa's most preventable cause of death. Tobacco use is the leading cause of cancer death in Iowa - responsible for one-third of all cancer deaths. An estimated 5,100 Iowans die from tobacco-related illnesses annually - 1,770 from lung cancer alone.
Tobacco Addiction Costs Every Iowan. Tobacco takes a tremendous toll on state taxpayers not only in terms of lives lost but also in the economic burden of tobacco-related health care costs. Iowa spends over $1.2 billion in annual health care costs directly caused by smoking - approximately $365 million of that is covered by the state Medicaid program. These costs are borne by taxpayers, employers and families regardless of whether they use tobacco products.
Insufficient Tobacco Prevention Funding Will Cost Iowa Even More. Iowa's tobacco prevention and control program has successfully reduced youth smoking and helped smokers quit across the state. Unfortunately, funding for this important program has been reduced over the years and the current program is woefully underfunded. Continued insufficient funding for tobacco prevention will leave the program unable to respond to evolving products and marketing practices that are targeted at youth, increase smoking rates and cause more kids to grow up to become addicted adult smokers.