Wednesday, December 9, 2009

National Report: Indiana Ranks 29th in Protecting Kids from Tobacco

A new report released today from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK) lists Indiana as 29th in the nation for protecting kids from tobacco. This rate is better than our adult smoking rate which is 2nd in the nation, but we still have a long way to go to prevent youth from becoming future smokers. We know from research and through examples from other states that smoking rates decrease through increased tobacco taxes, smoke free air laws and comprehensive tobacco programs, currently Indiana is falling behind the rest of the nation in all three of these fronts.

Here is the press release from CTFK:

CONTACT: Joel Spivak/Ashley Rockhold, 202-296-5469

National Report: Indiana Ranks 29th in Protecting Kids from Tobacco
After Cutting Funding for Tobacco Prevention by 28%

Washington, DC (December 9, 2009) –Indiana has cut state funding for tobacco prevention programs by 28 percent in the past year and currently ranks 29th in the nation in funding programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit, according to a national report released today by a coalition of public health organizations.

Indiana currently spends $11.8 million a year on tobacco prevention and cessation programs, including $10.8 million in state funds and a $1 million federal grant. This total is just 15 percent of the $78.8 million recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Last year, Indiana ranked 28th, spending $16 million on tobacco prevention.

Other key findings for Indiana include:
· In the past year, Indiana has cut state funding for its tobacco prevention program by 28 percent, from $15.1 million to $10.8 million.
· Indiana this year will collect $622 million from the 1998 tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend less than two percent of it on tobacco prevention programs.
· The tobacco companies spend $426.2 million a year to market their products in Indiana. This is 36 times what the state spends on tobacco prevention.

The annual report on states’ funding of tobacco prevention programs, titled “A Broken Promise to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 11 Years Later,” was released by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation program has contributed to significant declines in tobacco use. Between 2000 and 2008, smoking declined by 42 percent among Indiana high school students (from 31.6 percent to 18.3 percent) and by 58 percent among middle school students (from 9.8 percent to 4.1 percent). However, Indiana still has one of the highest adult smoking rates in the nation at 26.1 percent. Every year, another 8,600 Indiana kids become regular smokers, and tobacco use claims 9,700 lives and costs the state $2.1 billion in health care bills.

“Indiana has made significant progress in the fight against tobacco, but Indiana this year has taken a step backward and cut state funding for tobacco prevention by more than a quarter,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “Indiana’s progress in reducing tobacco use is at risk unless state leaders restore funding for tobacco prevention. Even in these difficult budget times, tobacco prevention is a smart investment that reduces smoking, saves lives and saves money by reducing tobacco-related health care costs.”

Eleven years after the 1998 state tobacco settlement, the new report finds that the states this year are collecting record amounts of revenue from the tobacco industry, but are spending less of it on tobacco prevention. Key national findings of the report include:

· The states this year will collect $25.1 billion from the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend just 2.3 percent of it – $567.5 million – on tobacco prevention programs. It would take less than 15 percent of their tobacco revenue to fund tobacco prevention programs in every state at CDC-recommended levels.
· In the past year, states have cut funding for tobacco prevention programs by more than 15 percent, or $103.4 million.
· Only one state – North Dakota – currently funds a tobacco prevention program at the CDC-recommended level.
· Only nine other states fund prevention programs at even half the CDC-recommended amount, while 31 states and DC are providing less than a quarter of the recommended funding.

The report warns that the nation’s progress in reducing smoking is at risk unless states increase funding for programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit. The United States has significantly reduced smoking among both youth and adults, but the CDC’s most recent survey showed that smoking declines among adults have stalled. Currently 20 percent of high school students and 20.6 percent of adults smoke.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., killing more than 400,000 people and costing $96 billion in health care bills each year. Every day, another 1,000 kids become regular smokers – one-third of them will die prematurely as a result.

More information, including the full report and state-specific information, can be obtained at

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