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MA Ranks Poorly in U.S. for Protecting Kids From Tobacco

Thursday, December 14, 2017

 

Massachusetts is ranked 35th in the country when it comes to funding tobacco control programs, according to the 2017 Broken Promises to Our Children report released on Wednesday.

According to the report, Massachusetts is spending $3.7 million this year on tobacco prevention and cessation programs, which is only 5.6 percent of the $66.9 million recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Massachusetts can be a leader again in fighting tobacco by increasing funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs and raising the tobacco age to 21. As Massachusetts itself has shown, we can win the fight against tobacco and make the next generation tobacco-free, but Massachusetts needs to keep doing its part to help us achieve these goals. Raising the state’s tobacco age to 21 would be an excellent step forward,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Tobacco in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, 7.7 percent of high school students smoke, and 2,500 kids become regular smokers each year.

Tobacco use claims 9,300 Massachusetts lives and costs the state $4.1 billion in health care bills annually.

Tobacco companies spend $117.1 million each year to market their products in Massachusetts – more than 30 times what the state spends on tobacco prevention. 

Massachusetts will collect $884 million in revenue this year from the 1998 tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend only 0.4 percent of the money on tobacco prevention programs.

Broken Promises to Our Children Report

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

 

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