Broken Promises to 
Our Children A State-by-State Look at the 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 
17 Years Later Scroll down for the report Despite the huge sums they get from the tobacco settlement and billions more they collect in tobacco taxes, the states continue to shortchange tobacco prevention and cessation programs that are proven to save lives and money.

Broken Promises to Our Children:
A State-by-State Look at the 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 17 Years Later

Since the states settled their lawsuits against the major tobacco companies in 1998, our annual reports have assessed whether the states are keeping their promise to use a significant portion of their settlement funds – estimated at $246 billion over the first 25 years – to attack the enormous public health problems caused by tobacco use in the United States.

 

Despite the huge sums they get from the tobacco settlement and billions more they collect in tobacco taxes, the states continue to shortchange tobacco prevention and cessation programs that are proven to save lives and money.

 

In the current budget year, Fiscal Year 2016, the states will collect $25.8 billion from the settlement and taxes. But they will spend only 1.8 percent of it – $468 million – on programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit. (As of December 8, 2015, when this report was published, two states – Illinois and Pennsylvania – had yet to enact 2016 budgets, so they have not set funding levels for tobacco prevention programs.)

 

Meanwhile, tobacco companies spend $9.6 billion a year – more than one million dollars each hour – to market their deadly and addictive products, according to the most recent data from the Federal Trade Commission.  This means tobacco companies spend $20 to market their products for every $1 the states spend to reduce tobacco use.

 

This giant gap is undermining efforts to save lives and health care dollars by reducing tobacco use, the number one cause of preventable death in the United States.

 

This report is issued by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights and Truth Initiative.

Download the Full Report

(PDF, 4.14 MB)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Map: State Funding for Tobacco Prevention

Click on each state to view the full data. Follow this link for information on the District of Columbia.

 

*Note: Illinois and Pennsylvania tobacco prevention program budgets for FY2016 were not available when this report went to press.  In FY2015, Illinois budgeted $11.1 million, which was 8.1% of CDC’s recommendations.  Pennsylvania’s FY2015 annual spending was estimated at $13.8 million (not confirmed by health department), which was 9.9% of CDC’s recommendations.

 

Other key findings include:

 

  • The states currently provide just 14 percent of the tobacco prevention funding recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Only one state – North Dakota – currently funds tobacco prevention programs at the CDC-recommended level. Only four other states – Alaska, Maine, Oklahoma and Wyoming – provide even half the CDC’s recommended funding.

  • States have failed to reverse deep cuts to tobacco prevention and cessation programs that have occurred since 2008. The current funding of $468 million is more than a third less than the $717.2 million spent in FY 2008.

  • States with well-funded, sustained tobacco prevention programs continue to report significant progress. Florida, with one of the longest-running programs, reduced its high school smoking rate to 6.9 percent in 2015, one of the lowest ever reported by any state. North Dakota reduced smoking among high school students by nearly half from 2009 to 2015, to 11.7 percent.

 

The states are leaving children vulnerable to Big Tobacco’s predatory marketing and costing taxpayers billions by refusing to properly fund proven tobacco prevention efforts. Our nation cannot let up in the fight against tobacco because the tobacco industry never lets up. By doing what we know works, we can end this preventable epidemic and create a healthier future for all Americans.

 

Infographics

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