Hartford, CT – October 26, 2017 – The following statement can be attributed to Bryte Johnson, director of government relations in Connecticut for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).
“The legislature missed an opportunity to reduce the toll of tobacco on Connecticut by increasing tobacco taxes by an amount that will have little to no positive impact on public health. Small increases such as this are much more likely to be offset by tobacco industry price discounting and coupons intended to perpetuate tobacco-related addiction. Currently, Big Tobacco spends over $73 million annually in Connecticut on marketing alone.
“Connecticut is now tied with at New York to be first in the nation when it comes to state cigarette taxes, but it ranks last in funding tobacco prevention and cessation programs because our state puts no money into evidence-based interventions that help discourage youth tobacco use. Our kids are worth more than zero!
“ACS CAN is extremely disappointed that the legislature did not include any funding for tobacco prevention and cessation. Despite Connecticut receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in annual tobacco tax revenue as well as over $100 million per year from the Master Settlement Agreement with Big Tobacco—payments that were intended to help offset the massive health care costs as a result of tobacco use—the state hasn’t budgeted a penny towards non-Medicaid tobacco control programs since 2015. While some funding was due to be restored in Fiscal Year ’18, this budget once again eliminates it.”
About ACS CAN
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.