States Not Meeting CDC Recommendation for Tobacco Settlement Money
Only seven states have spent the CDC-recommended percentage of their share of the national tobacco settlement on tobacco control and prevention programs, according to a report that the agency released yesterday. In fiscal year 2001, 45 states invested a total of $883.2 million in such programs, with $645.9 million coming from settlement funds and the remainder derived from excise tax revenues, general revenue and CDC grants (CDC release, 2/15). This total investment represents less than 60% of what the CDC has recommended, as only Arizona, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Ohio and Vermont met the agency's recommendation. Conversely, Connecticut, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and the District of Columbia used no state money to fund prevention programs, relying solely on federal funding (McClam, AP/Nando Times, 2/15). CDC Director Dr. Jeffrey Koplan noted that the states' cumulative investments are "far exceeded by the $6.7 billion that tobacco companies spend each year to advertise and promote their products" (CDC release, 2/15). Dr. Terry Pechacek, assistant director of the CDC's Office of Smoking and Health, added, " This is a very serious problem. If [tobacco settlement] dollars are put into other worthy causes, it becomes a competition between issues. Tobacco, we feel, merits attention in the first go-round" (AP/Nando Times, 2/15). To download the report, "Investment in Tobacco Control: State Highlights, 2001," go to
http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/statehi/statehi_2000.htm. Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report.