Increase Tobacco Cessation Funding

Increase Tobacco Cessation Funding

Tobacco use claims the lives of 9,600 Missourians each year and causes $3 billion in annual health care costs. Unfortunately, Missouri ranks 50th in spending for tobacco prevention and cessation.

Comprehensive tobacco cessation programs help smokers quit and ultimately save lives and money.  By reducing tobacco use, they play a crucial role in the prevention of many chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illness. State tobacco control programs have been measured to have a $5 return for every $1 invested. 

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services plans and executes evidence-based tobacco prevention and cessation services including the Missouri Tobacco Quitline, a free service that offers Missourians who want to quit smoking or using other tobacco products, telephone and online counseling and resource materials. However, these programs are severely underfunded and the need is great - 63% of Missouri adults intend to quit in the next 6 months.

Toll of Tobacco Use in Missouri:

  • Missouri Adult Smoking Rate: 22.1% (National Rate 16.8%)
  • Annual Smoking Attributable Deaths in Missouri: 11,000
  • Annual Costs to the Missouri Economy Due to Smoking:
    • $3.03 billion in health care costs
    • $644.3 million in state Medicaid expenditures
    • $956 paid by every household in Missouri from smoking-caused government expenditures.

Lung cancer accounts for more deaths than any other cancer in both men and women.

Legislative Request:

Increase general revenue funding for tobacco cessation and prevention through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to help Missourians quit smoking and to prevent kids from picking up the deadly habit.