Archive for Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Report: Kansas failing on smoking front

November 19, 2008

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Kansas ranked 42nd nationally in funding programs to prevent children from smoking, a new health report said Tuesday.

“Kansas 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.

Kansas spends $2 million annually on tobacco prevention programs, while tobacco companies are spending $106 million per year in the state on marketing.

The state’s 79-cent cigarette tax is 33rd nationally and below the $1.19 per pack average state tax. Higher cigarette prices have been shown to reduce the number of young smokers.

The report was released on the 10th anniversary of the lawsuit settlement between major tobacco companies and 46 states, including Kansas.

This year, Kansas will collect $180 million from the settlement and tobacco taxes, but spend only about 1 percent on tobacco prevention, the report said.

Meanwhile, 20.6 percent of Kansas high school students smoke, and 3,300 more children become regular smokers in the state each year, the report said.

Comments

cowboy 6 years, 7 months ago

perhaps an accounting of the expenditures from the huge tobacco settlement a few years back is in order . Where did it go ? From the Cap Journal...Of the hundreds of millions of dollars the state of Kansas has received from the 1998 master tobacco settlement, it has spent 1 percent on prevention and cessation programs.The Sunflower State has pulled in $505 million from the tobacco companies since 1999, but spent just $7 million of that on activities aimed at reducing smoking.Print E-mail Comment"We tax people on cigarettes, we get money from smokers," said Mary Jayne Hellebust, director of the Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition. "Then we're getting these funds from the (settlement), but what are we providing to help them quit?"State officials associated with the settlement money point out nearly all of it is funding worthy childhood programs, such as Early Head Start and prekindergarten. And Kansas isn't alone in how it is utilizing the money. The majority of states use payments from the tobacco giants for purposes other than smoking prevention.But anti-smoking advocates say the 1998 settlement that 46 states entered into were meant to curb the states' Medicaid costs associated with tobacco-related illnesses. Even Melissa Ness, president of the Kansas Children's Cabinet and Trust Fund, which makes recommendations to the governor and Legislature about how to use the money, says that was the lawsuit's initial intent."The state just didn't choose to go in that direction," she said.Hmmmmmmm.....

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

Sin taxes are fine, as long as they are spent on addressing the ills of the sin.I'm all for really high taxes on tobacco and alcohol, but the best use for the funds would be to help finance national single-payer healthcare insurance.Another appropriate source of funding would be cars because of the hundreds of thousands of serious injuries they cause every year, as well as the considerable pollution they put into the air.

Kirk Larson 6 years, 7 months ago

Uh, DouglasCountySucker, you want to know where your 2 million dollars is? You spent it all on cigarettes. I'm an ex-smoker myself. I could not have bought my house if I had not quit!

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