Friday, November 19, 2010

Tobacco Prevention Program in Connecticut Broken

In its annual report on states' funding of tobacco prevention programs titled "A Broken Promise to Our Children,” the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Lung Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report that Connecticut ranks 45th in the nation in funding programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit. Key findings in the report show:

• In the past year, Connecticut has virtually eliminated funding for tobacco prevention, cutting funding from $6.1 million to $400,000.

• Connecticut this year will collect $529 million from the 1998 tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend just 0.1 percent of it on tobacco prevention programs.

• The tobacco companies spend $123 million a year to market their products in Connecticut. This is 307 times what the state spends on tobacco prevention.

•In the past year, Connecticut has virtually eliminated funding for tobacco prevention, cutting funding from $6.1 million to $400,000.

• Connecticut this year will collect $529 million from the 1998 tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend just 0.1 percent of it on tobacco prevention programs.

• The tobacco companies spend $123 million a year to market their products in Connecticut. This is 307 times what the state spends on tobacco prevention.
The assault on Big Tobacco, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s signature suit, played an important part in his recent successful election to the U.S. Senate.

While the fines collected from Big Tobacco by Mr. Blumenthal and other attorneys general may have helped the Connecticut General Assembly to pad its budget with the windfall furnished by the attorneys general, the money collected, as shown by the report, has had virtually no practical effect in keeping the broken promise to our children.
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