SMOKING: Satcher Urges Increased Antismoking Funding
Surgeon General David Satcher yesterday urged states to allocate more of their multimillion dollar tobacco settlement funds for antismoking efforts, the AP/Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Speaking at the 11th World Conference on Tobacco, he said, "Our lack of greater progress in tobacco control is more the result of a failure to implement proven strategies than it is the lack of knowledge about what to do ... I think states are missing a tremendous opportunity." Although states plan to earmark only 10% of tobacco settlement money for smoking prevention programs, Satcher urged that they spend at least 20%-25% on antismoking campaigns. He joined other conference officials in requesting "stepped-up antismoking measures," including campaigns targeting younger people and higher taxes on cigarettes. Satcher also proposed increased access to pharmaceutical drugs that help treat nicotine addiction, greater regulation of tobacco advertising and clean air regulations to decrease secondhand smoke. Satcher said that these strategies could help the federal government reach its Healthy People 2010 goals, which include cutting Americans' tobacco use in half (Irvine, 8/10). "It's the most challenging and tenacious health issue facing the country. During the past four decades we have made unprecedented gains in preventing and controlling tobacco use. But the sobering reality is that it remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in our country," Satcher said (Deardorff, Chicago Tribune, 8/10).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.