States to spend only 2.4 percent of tobacco funds on prevention in 2021

States to spend only 2.4 percent of tobacco funds on prevention in 2021

In fiscal year 2021, states will spend $656 million on tobacco prevention and cessation programs out of the $26.9 billion they will receive from tobacco taxes and the 1998 tobacco settlement.

This figure is only 2.4 percent of the total amount, an 11 percent decline from the previous year and 19.8 percent of the funding recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 1998, a settlement between 46 states and the major tobacco companies required the companies to pay more than $246 billion as compensation for tobacco-related health care costs.

Annually, tobacco companies spend more than $13 to market products for every $1 states invest in tobacco use prevention.

Eight states provide more than half of the CDC-recommended funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs, with only Alaska, Maine, and Utah spending three-quarters. The majority of the states, 34, provide less than 25 percent of the recommended levels and 21 states provide less than 10 percent. Connecticut and Tennessee have no state funds allocated for prevention programs.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Truth Initiative jointly released the report.