Tobacco Use Prevention Program
Penalty could keep smokers out of health overhaul
January 25, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of smokers could be priced out of health insurance because of tobacco penalties in President Barack Obama's health care law, according to experts who are just now teasing out the potential impact of a little-noted provision in the massive legislation.
TUESDAY--JANUARY 22, 2013
State fails on recent tobacco health report
The American Lung Association released its report card on states’ performance in tobacco cessation, prevention, smoke free air and the cigarette tax last week.
Montana earned an F on tobacco prevention and a D on cessation.
A press release from the American Lung Association explains why Montana earned an F in tobacco control funding.
“In 2012, Montana failed to fund its tobacco prevention program at levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” the statement says. “Even though it took in $118 million from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes in 2012.”
Rick Gale, a member of the Montana Tobacco Prevention Advisory Board, said the cuts are impacting spending on school programs.
“You look at the prevention funding and Montana has cut back on what we’re willing to designate for prevention programs, including schools,” Gale said. “Funding is not coming from tax dollars, it comes from litigation.”
Researchers have found that graphic anti-smoking images may be more powerful than words alone in warning people from different income and racial groups about the dangers of smoking.
The study, from the Legacy Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, finds that bold pictorial cigarette warning labels approved by the Food and Drug Administration depicting health consequences of smoking can impact on smokers'intentions to quit. (Legacy's mission is to reduce tobacco use in the U.S.)
About 3,300 adult smokers from diverse racial, ethnic and income groups were recruited to take part in the study. Some received written warnings about the dangers of smoking while others received highly graphic images showing possible consequences, including blackened lungs, cancers, even death. The study appears in the online journal, PLOS One.
Those who saw the images reported being more upset, scared and motivated to quit than those who saw written warnings alone. That reaction was similar across racial and economic groups. That's an important finding, the researchers say, since certain minority and low-income groups have significantly higher rates of smoking than the general population.
"The implementation of graphic warning labels appears to be one of the few tobacco control policies that has the potential to reduce communication inequalities across groups," Jennifer Cantrell, assistant director for research and evaluation at Legacy and lead author of the study, said in a statement.
About 20 percent of the general adult population smokes. But one third of the population below the federal poverty level smokes, according to Legacy. A federal law requiring such graphic warnings on cigarette packs was blocked last year when tobacco companies argued it violated their first amendment rights. The government is now appealing that decision to the Supreme Court. It's not clear if the high court will hear it.
In the meantime, researchers point out that in countries with dramatic photo warnings, attempts to quit and actual successes in quitting smoking are higher.
Washington, D.C. (January 16, 2013)—
Follow the trail of money misused by policymakers and strategically invested by Big Tobacco in the American Lung Association's "State of Tobacco Control 2013" report released today to discover how the leading cause of preventable death is often entangled in a financial web of neglect and deceit.
The Lung Association's "State of Tobacco Control" report tracks annual progress on key tobacco control policies at the federal and state level, assigning grades based on whether laws are adequately protecting citizens from the enormous toll tobacco use takes on lives and the economy.
"We are faced with a deep-pocketed, ever-evolving tobacco industry that's determined to maintain its market share at the expense of our kids and current smokers," said Paul G. Billings, American Lung Association Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Education. "State and federal policymakers must battle a changing Big Tobacco and step up to fund programs and enact policies proven to reduce tobacco use."
The federal government's progress on tobacco control over the past several years nearly ground to a halt in 2012. Most notably, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) failed to exercise its oversight authority allowing for the proliferation of a new generation of tobacco products aimed at hooking youth smokers.
State governments continued their years of inaction by again failing to invest income from tobacco taxes and tobacco settlement payments into programs proven to keep youth off tobacco and help current smokers quit. According to the U.S. Surgeon General's report, if states begin to invest in tobacco prevention programs, youth tobacco use could be cut in half in just six years.
Smoking costs the American public almost $200 billion every year in healthcare costs and lost productivity and wages – a staggering bill that the country can ill afford.
Millions of non-smokers still exposed to secondhand smoke
Four out of five U.S. adults report having voluntary smoke-free rules in their homes and three out of four report having voluntary smoke-free rules in their vehicles, according to a study published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, a publication of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The National Adult Tobacco Survey respondents were classified as having smoke-free rules if they never allow smoking inside their homes or vehicles. The study is the first to present estimates of smoke-free rules and secondhand smoke exposure in vehicles among U.S. adults.
Despite the high prevalence of voluntary smoke-free rules in homes and vehicles, the study found that almost 11 million non-smoking adults continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke in their home, and almost 17 million non-smoking adults continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke in a vehicle. The study also contains state-by-state data showing that the highest prevalence of smoke-free rules in homes and vehicles occurred in many states with comprehensive smoke-free laws and longstanding tobacco control programs.
Gallatin County Tobacco Use Prevention Program
404 West Main
Bozeman, Montana 59715