California tops state tobacco prevention spending


California will spend almost as much money on tobacco prevention and smoking cessation as the other states combined in 2018, putting it closest to the spending level recommended for each state by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a report on the effects of the 1998 tobacco settlement.

The Golden State has budgeted almost $328 million for tobacco prevention and cessation this year, which amounts to just over 45% of all states’ total spending of $722 million and 94% of the CDC’s recommendation of $348 million. Alaska is the only state close to that in terms of the CDC-recommended level, reaching 93% of its spending target of $10.2 million. In third place for recommended spending is North Dakota, which has budgeted $5.3 million for 2018, or 54% of its CDC target, the report said.

State spending on tobacco prevention for fiscal year 2018

Broken Promises to Our Children: A State-by-State Look at the 1998 Tobacco Settlement 19 Years Later” was released by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, and Truth Initiative.

As for actual spending, Florida is second behind California with almost $69 million – 35% of its CDC-recommended level – budgeted for tobacco prevention and smoking cessation in 2018, and New York is third at just over $39 million, which is 19.4% of the CDC recommendation. Two states – Connecticut and West Virginia – will spend no money on such programs this year, the report noted.

The CDC has said that all states combined should be spending $3.3 billion for the year on prevention and cessation efforts, which is about 4.5 times higher than actual budgeted spending. The report also pointed out that the $722 million the states will spend this year amounts to just 2.6% of the $27.5 billion they will collect from the 1998 tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes. By comparison, the report cited data from the Federal Trade Commission showing that the tobacco companies spent $8.9 billion on marketing in 2015.

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