States have spent less on tobacco prevention over the past two years than in any period since a settlement in 1998, despite high revenues from the settlement and taxes, according to a new report.
TMA Says: Invest in Tobacco Prevention
In 2012, total revenue to Texas from tobacco taxes and fees and tobacco settlement funds is expected to be $1.9 billion. But Texas will spend less on tobacco prevention in 2012 than most other states, ranking 39th in the nation for tobacco prevention expenditures. CDC recommends that Texas spend $266 million on tobacco prevention to have an effective and comprehensive tobacco prevention program. In 2012, Texas will spend a paltry $6 million in state funds on tobacco prevention.
Twenty percent of U.S. adults say they smoked a cigarette in the past week, tying the all-time low in Gallup trends since 1944. Recent declines in smoking are steepest among young adults, those aged 18 to 29, and those in the East.
Physicians must continue to emphasize the importance and power of personal responsibility in patients’ health outcomes. Over the past century, public health interventions have effectively reduced and, in some cases, eliminated illness and death. We must use education and preventive medicine measures to go further – to curb the need for the complex treatment required once a preventable condition develops. Each occurrence of preventable chronic disease is costly to Texas’ government and businesses, to our economy, and to our people.