Ohio Senate Turning Its Back on Ohio’s Youth
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is calling on the Senate to change course regarding tobacco control funding in the budget.
Statement from American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Government Relations Director Leo Almeida
COLUMBUS, OHIO – “The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is calling on the Senate to change course regarding tobacco control funding in the budget. In the Senate’s budget substitute bill released last week, tobacco prevention and cessation funding was cut in half from the current year funding level of $14.5 million to $7.5 million yearly, which would have a devastating impact on our state's health and economic well-being.
“Here in Ohio, 36.7% of high school students use tobacco products, including 29.8% who use electronic cigarettes. Action is needed to reverse these trends. In fact, if nothing is done to reduce smoking rates in our state, 259,000 kids under 18 currently alive in Ohio will ultimately die prematurely from smoking. At a time when the state is sitting on a budget surplus, a well-funded, fact-based tobacco control program is more in reach than ever.
“On average, Ohio residents, whether they smoke or not, pay $1,186 per household in state and federal taxes from smoking-caused government expenditures. Slashing funding for programs to reduce tobacco use will only increase this financial burden on taxpayers. Fact-based programs must be in place to reduce tobacco use and reduce taxpayer-funded health care costs.
“ACS CAN is calling on the Senate to reduce the toll of tobacco on Ohio by restoring the funding to Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposed $20 million annually for the Ohio Department of Health’s Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Program. This increase would prevent 1,300 fewer kids from becoming adults who smoke, prevent 400 kids from dying prematurely due to smoking and save the state $20.8 million in future health care costs.
“Big Tobacco has been working hard to addict future generations with e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. Now is not the time to do their dirty work for them. Ohio can and must do better.”
About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) advocates for evidence-based public policies to reduce the cancer burden for everyone. We engage our volunteers across the country to make their voices heard by policymakers at every level of government. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and advanced proven tobacco control measures. We stand with our volunteers, working to make cancer a top priority for policymakers in cities, states and our nation’s capital. Join the fight by visiting www.fightcancer.org.