Recently, Sen. Tom Takubo introduced legislation, Senate Bill 84, to increase the tax on cigarettes and all other tobacco products while investing a portion of the revenue in fact-based tobacco prevention and cessation programs. This is an important step towards a cleaner, safer, healthier West Virginia that will help kids break the cycle of addiction and tobacco-related disease.
New Report: Tennessee Ranks Amongst Top 5 States Shortchanging Tobacco Prevention Programs
NASHVILLE, TN – January 24, 2022 – Even as tobacco use remains the number one cause of preventable death in the United States and youth e-cigarette use remains at high levels, a new report highlights how too many states continue to shortchange programs designed to prevent kids from using tobacco products and help tobacco users quit - with Tennessee ranking amongst the top 5 of states doing so.
This year (fiscal year 2023), Tennessee will collect $406 million from the 1998 tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes but spend just 2.6% –$2 million – on tobacco prevention and cessation programs.
“Smoking now directly causes an overwhelming $3.10 billion in health care costs annually in Tennessee,” noted ACS CAN Government Relations Director Maddie Bushnell. “It’s time that our leaders make an investment in prevention programs that is proportional to the massive toll tobacco products take on our families, our communities and our economy by investing in Tennessee’s woefully underfunded tobacco prevention and cessation programs to prevent kids from starting to use tobacco and help those already addicted to quit.”
The report challenges states to do more to fight tobacco use, save lives and stop tobacco companies from addicting a new generation of kids.
The report – “Broken Promises to Our Children: A State-by-State Look at the 1998 Tobacco Settlement” – was released Friday by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights and Truth Initiative. These organizations have issued annual reports since the November 1998 landmark legal settlement between 46 states and the major tobacco companies, which – along with individual settlements with four other states – required the companies to pay more than $246 billion over time as compensation for tobacco-related health care costs.