House Appropriations Bill Would Harm… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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House Appropriations Bill Would Harm Public Health by Eliminating Funding for CDC’s Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Programs

Statement of Yolonda C. Richardson, President & CEO, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
June 26, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Fiscal Year 2025 Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill released today would greatly harm the nation’s health by eliminating funding for critical programs that address health inequities, including the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. This office leads the agency’s proven, lifesaving tobacco prevention and cessation programs to reduce tobacco use in the United States and provides vital assistance to state and local programs across the country.

This legislation, which will be marked up in subcommittee tomorrow, is a gift to the tobacco industry and, along with other cuts in the bill to critical health programs, would be devastating to public health in the U.S. It makes no sense to cut or eliminate funding for tobacco prevention and cessation efforts at a time when tobacco use remains the number one cause of preventable death in the United States, killing nearly half a million people and costing over $241 billion in healthcare expenditures each year. This irresponsible action also comes at a time when youth e-cigarette use remains a public health crisis, with over 2.1 million U.S. kids using e-cigarettes.

The CDC’s programs are proven effective at preventing kids from using tobacco and helping tobacco users quit, thereby saving lives and healthcare dollars. Eliminating CDC tobacco prevention and cessation funding would end the CDC’s Tips from Former Smokers media campaign, which has been called a “best buy” in public health. Research shows that from 2012 to 2018, the Tips campaign helped about one million smokers quit for good, preventing an estimated 129,200 smoking-related deaths and saving an estimated $7.3 billion in healthcare costs.

Rather than eliminating funding for these critical initiatives, Congress should be increasing funding and doing more to help tobacco users quit and prevent kids from starting in the first place.

This bill marks the second time in recent weeks that the House Appropriations Committee has taken action that benefits the tobacco industry at the expense of kids and lives. Earlier this month, the House Appropriations Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee approved a bill that would effectively block the FDA from moving forward with proposals to prohibit menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars and to limit nicotine levels in cigarettes.

Members of Congress must reject these extremely harmful proposals.