New Report: Florida is Failing to Invest in Programs to Protect Kids from Tobacco Products Including E-cigarettes

Florida Lawmakers Must Pass a Comprehensive Tobacco 21 Law to Combat Youth Tobacco Use Epidemic

December 23, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 19, 2019 – A report released today by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and other public health groups shows that, amidst a youth tobacco use epidemic that is being driven by e-cigarettes, Florida is shortchanging an important investment in prevention and cessation programs that are proven to prevent kids from starting to use tobacco products, reduce tobacco use, lower health care costs and save lives.


Broken Promises to Our Children is an annual report examining how states are spending their revenue from tobacco taxes and the Master Settlement Agreement, a landmark legal settlement reached in 1998 between the states and Big Tobacco that required tobacco companies pay more than $246 billion over time to states as compensation for the deadly toll of their products. Florida collects approximately $1.5 billion in settlement funds and tobacco taxes every year, but will spend only 37.1% of that revenue on tobacco prevention programs in Fiscal Year 2020.


“E-cigarettes have helped cause a youth tobacco use epidemic in communities across Florida,” said ACS CAN Senior Government Relations Director Heather Youmans. “Our lawmakers should be doing everything in their power to protect our kids from a lifetime of addiction, including voting to raise the age of sale for all tobacco products to 21 with strong retailer licensing, clear definitions of tobacco products and explicit protocol that enables active enforcement.”


Smoking remains the No. 1 cause of preventable cancer death in America. ACS CAN is working to prevent the use of tobacco products by advancing a comprehensive tobacco control agenda that includes regular and significant increases in the price of tobacco products, full investments in tobacco cessation and prevention programs, and the implementation of comprehensive smoke-free policies that include e-cigarettes. 


In Fiscal Year 2020, states will spend less than 3% or $739.7 million of the $27.2 billion in revenue they receive from the Master Settlement Agreement and tobacco taxes on prevention and cessation programs. No state currently funds tobacco prevention programs at the level recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and only six states—Alaska, California, Delaware, Maine, North Dakota and Oklahoma—appropriate more than 50% of the CDC recommended funding level.


The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit

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