States Using Anti-Smoking Funds to Cover Budget Crises
Article written by guest writer Rin Mitchell
What’s the Latest Development?
A recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) report reveals states across the U.S. are not investing enough to get a firm grasp on tobacco-related illnesses. The billions of dollars collected from taxes on cigarettes and the tobacco companies by states and the federal government is more than enough to fund tobacco prevention programs, smoking cessation services and other public health entities—as well as tobacco-free ad campaigns. Yet, the CDC calculates that these programs are only seeing less than one-fifth of the money. It is not regulated as to how the money acquired is to be spent; therefore, budget recovery is priority for the states—where the majority of the money is used. So it should come as no surprise that reports also indicate that everyday nearly 3,800 American kids are striking up a cigarette for the first time and 1,000 of these kids develop a regular habit.
What’s the Big Idea?
The growing consumption of tobacco is doing the American economy well right now. The government is concerned more with the full recovery of the economy than saving lives, so distributing the money in the areas primarily intended—caring for people with smoke-related diseases and prevention programs for kids—which could lower personal health care expenses, are not a priority.