Senate Budget Fails to Protect Ohio Kids
Today, the Senate passed its version of the budget, which slashes funding for tobacco control nearly in half, fails to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products and takes control away from local governments to protect the
Statement from American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Government Relations Director Leo Almeida
COLUMBUS, OHIO – “Today, the Senate passed its version of the budget, which slashes funding for tobacco control nearly in half, fails to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products and takes control away from local governments to protect the health of their residents. Ohio has some of the worst tobacco use rates in the country and Big Tobacco has been working hard to addict future generations with e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. Ohio can and must do better now.
“With Big Tobacco spending nearly $429.8 million marketing their deadly and addictive products in our state annually, a well-funded, fact-based tobacco control program is needed more than ever. Currently, 36.7% of Ohio high school students use tobacco products. Increasing Ohio’s investment in tobacco prevention and cessation by $5.5 million to $20 million annually would prevent 1,300 kids from becoming adults who smoke and save the state $20.8 million in future health care expenditures.
“Furthermore, amid the growing youth tobacco epidemic, we need local laws to protect our kids, not state interference. Local governments are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of the people in their communities. They should be able to pass laws stronger than the state law that are proven to promote good health and well-being.
“Laws aimed at ending the sale of menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products are most effective when they include all products, all flavors and all retailers. Ending the sale of menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products would be a significant step in reducing tobacco use. Removing these flavored tobacco products from the market can be critical to a comprehensive strategy to reduce initiation and lifelong addiction.
“The House must not accept this version of the budget and the conference committee must end the sale of all flavors, increase tobacco control funding and remove preemption. If this doesn’t happen, this budget will do nothing more than worsen the trends in youth and adult tobacco use. The legislature must change course to protect kids, reduce health care costs and save lives.”
About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that improves the lives of people with cancer and their families. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, 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’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. Join the fight by visiting www.fightcancer.org.