Anti-Smoking Advocates Criticize Davis’ Budget Proposal for Reductions in Anti-Tobacco Funds
Some anti-smoking advocates are criticizing Gov. Gray Davis' (D) budget proposal for the next fiscal year because they say it would cut $60 million from the state's anti-tobacco programs, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Instead of "turning up the heat" on the tobacco industry, advocates say Davis' budget plan will harm the "economic and social well-being" of the state. Anti-smoking activist Stan Glantz, a professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco, said, "For every dollar Davis cuts, we're going to have $3 in health problems." Glantz also criticized Davis' proposal to raise cigarettes taxes by 50 cents per pack because the revenue would go into the general fund and not anti-smoking programs. Davis' plan also would borrow $4.5 billion against future tobacco settlement funds, a move Glantz said would "mortgag[e] the state's future for a quick budget fix." The Chronicle reports that some anti-smoking advocates also have mixed thoughts on Assembly member Paul Koretz's (D-West Hollywood) proposal to raise the legal age for buying cigarettes from 18 to 21. Kirk Kleinschmidt, vice president of the American Heart Association, said raising the age limit is a "misguided focus," adding that anti-tobacco efforts should focus on preventing the industry from advertising to youths (Lazarus, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.