Ohio Passes Strong Tobacco Prevention Plan

Feb. 17 2000

Washington, DC - The CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS applauds Ohio’s governor and General Assembly for taking the lead in tobacco prevention and passing legislation to allocate more than $1 billion of the state’s tobacco settlement dollars to tobacco prevention programs.

A conference committee of the Ohio General Assembly late Tuesday agreed to a unique plan that will create a foundation to establish and operate prevention programs paid for by a new endowment funded by tobacco settlement dollars. Settlement payments for the fund are expected to exceed $1 billion by the year 2012. Approximately $30 million is expected by July 1 to launch the comprehensive tobacco program, which will be overseen by the non-profit’s board that will be jointly appointed by the governor and legislature. The full General Assembly approved the agreement today.

Ohio becomes the ninth state to allocate a significant portion of its settlement funds for programs to protect kids from tobacco or help adults quit. Other state legislatures are continuing to debate how to spend funds from the historic, $246 billion tobacco agreement of 1998.

“Our thanks go to Gov. Bob Taft, House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson, Senate President Richard Finan, the Ohio General Assembly, and the hundreds of grassroots organizations that worked so hard to ensure this historic vote,” said Matthew L. Myers, president of the CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS.

“Ohio’s leaders have kept the promise made when the tobacco settlement was signed and used the funding to protect kids and save lives. By creating an endowment, they have doubly assured the future health of Ohio’s next generation,” he said.

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