Wed, Feb 15, 2012 06:08 PM
The American Lung Association's 2012 State of Tobacco Control
report highlights Vermont's need to increase its investment in the
comprehensive tobacco control program.
Although Vermont has been a leader in reducing the burden of
tobacco use, the state falls short in tobacco control funding. The
legislature allocated $3.4 million this year, over a million
dollars less than the previous year, and a 37% cut since 2009.
Although the ALA applauds the Governor for proposing to level fund
the program next year, it is not enough. The administration also
plans to divert the remainder of the Tobacco Trust Fund, created to
sustain future tobacco control efforts, to address other budget
Annually, 700 kids start smoking, 800 Vermonters die from
tobacco-caused illness, and the state spends $233 million in
related health care. A recent study in Washington showed for every
$1 spent on tobacco control, the state saved $5 in related
healthcare costs. In order to continue reducing the burden of
tobacco use, the ALA calls for lawmakers to increase tobacco
control program funding to $4.9 million. Maintaining the status quo
is penny wise and pound foolish when you look at the return on each
dollar spent on tobacco control.
Leadership Board Chair, American Lung Association in Vermont