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AMA: New Report Encourages Better Funding of State Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Programs

For immediate release:
Dec. 6, 2012

Statement attributable to:
Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD
President, American Medical Association

“The American Medical Association (AMA) is troubled by the latest findings of a new report from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which shows a slow decline in tobacco use among adults and teens in recent years. This coincides with a 36 percent cut to state tobacco prevention programs from fiscal years 2008 to 2012. Smoking remains the top cause of preventable deaths and disease in our country.

“The new report, ‘Broken Promises to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 14 years later’ shows that states have inadequately funded tobacco prevention and treatment programs according to recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Without proper financing, states cannot provide the necessary programs to help current smokers quit and prevent teens and children from ever starting to smoke.

“States will collect $25.7 billion in revenue in the upcoming year from the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will only spend 1.8 percent of it ($459.5 million) on tobacco cessation and prevention programs. This translates into spending less than two cents of every dollar in tobacco revenue to stop tobacco use. States should use this revenue on tobacco cessation and prevention programs that will help reduce tobacco-related health care costs, which total $96 billion a year.

“The AMA has worked with physicians and state medical societies to take a proactive role in educating elected officials about the importance of funding tobacco prevention and treatment programs. This report demonstrates the value of funding state tobacco prevention and treatment programs, which help to eliminate the social and economic costs of tobacco use.”  


Liz Magsig
AMA Media Relations


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