Apr. 27 2000
Washington, DC — The CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS applauds Maine's governor and Legislature for taking the lead in tobacco prevention and authorizing more than $18 million from the state's first year tobacco settlement payment to fully fund a comprehensive tobacco prevention program. With this action, Maine's leaders have made a commitment to do something meaningful about the state's alarming smoking rate that is well above the national average.
Maine's authorized funding for tobacco prevention is the highest per capita expenditure in the nation. With an amount of $15 per capita, Maine is well within the guidelines for fully funding an effective tobacco prevention program developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With 7000 Maine kids under 18 becoming new daily smokers every year, the authorization of funds is an important first step toward implementing a comprehensive tobacco prevention program. The state can now move forward to create a tobacco prevention program from the model developed by the CDC. This is the same kind of comprehensive prevention program that is responsible for dramatic decreases in smoking rates for both kids and adults in states like California, Massachusetts and Florida.
"Our thanks go to Governor Angus King, House Speaker G. Steven Rowe, the Joint Committee on Appropriations, and all the many Maine grassroots organizations that worked so hard to make this remarkable funding package a reality," said Matthew L Myers, president of the CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS.
"Maine's leaders have kept the promise made when the tobacco settlement was signed in 1998, and have used the money to protect Maine's kids and save lives. By authorizing an ample amount for tobacco prevention, Maine's leaders have assured the future health on the state's next generation," Myers said.