Tobacco Settlement Dollars at Work in Georgia
I have to admit it here... yes I smoke and wish I didn't. I have a strong addiction to nicotine.
I believe that the Tobacco Settlement money went to the wrong place. Instead of letting the States just have the money It should have been used directly by those smokers who wanted to quit.
Education is the first step... I'm proud that my children have never smoked. I always told them the truth and they listened, Thank Goodness.
That money was to get people off tobacco products. Not to fix a state's budget problems.
The money should be used to research new medication to really get a person off of cigarettes without having to use a nicotine session product for the rest of their lives or a prescription that gets you to quit but has the added thrill of maybe making you want to kill yourself!
Well see for yourself how a tobacco state used the money from the settlement.
What's your opinion??
Georgia next to last in anti-smoking spending Study shows Georgia uses less than 1 percent of tobacco settlement money to fight smoking
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Georgia ranks next to last in the nation in spending on programs that would discourage children from taking up smoking and help smokers quit the habit, according to a report released Tuesday by a coalition of public health groups.
While Georgia will collect $393 million this year from the 1998 national tobacco manufacturers settlement and tobacco taxes, it will spend less than 1 percent — about $3 million — on preventing tobacco use, the study said. It placed Georgia 50th of all states and District of Columbia.
- 10,300 — The number of Georgians killed by tobacco each year.
- 19 percent — The percent of Georgia adults and the percent of high school students who smoke.
- $1.42 billion — The amount Georgia has received from the tobacco settlement over 10 years.
- $106 million — The amount Georgia has spent on tobacco-control programs.
- $393 million — The total amount of money that Georgia will receive this year from the 1998 tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes.
- $3.2 million — The amount will spend this year on tobacco-prevention programs.
- $444 million — The amount that tobacco companies will spend this year on marketing in Georgia.
“Georgia is one of the most disappointing states when it comes to funding programs to protect kids from tobacco,” said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
The report — 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 — concluded that most states had failed to use a significant portion of their tobacco money to fund tobacco-control programs.
The highest-ranked state was Alaska and the lowest was South Carolina, according to the report.
In Georgia, 18.6 percent of high school students smoke.
June Deen, advocacy director for the American Lung Association of Georgia, called the shift in tobacco-settlement dollars “a broken promise … that breaks our heart.”
“Those dollars were intended to prevent children from starting to smoke and to help people quit,” she said. “People don’t have to die from smoking.”The 1998 settlement between states and major tobacco companies was awarded to help states recover tobacco-related health care costs. In the 10 years since, Georgia has received $1.42 billion. But the state has used most of that money for programs other than smoking cessation and prevention, including rural economic development, cancer research, and general health care such as Medicaid hospital costs and mental retardation care.
But Ford warned that stop-smoking programs may face cuts as the state budget suffers under the strained economy. Ford said she did believe that there is a correlation between the amount of money spent on these programs and the reduction in the number of people smoking.
The office of Gov. Sonny Perdue has said the tobacco-settlement dollars have shifted according to budget priorities.