Twelve years after a landmark tobacco lawsuit settlement states have cut tobacco prevention funding to the lowest level since 1999, the first year they received settlement funds. That’s the findings of an annual report from Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
CTFK Vice President of Research Danny McGoldrick says states “aren’t keeping their promise” to use the money toward cessation and prevention programs.” In total, states are bringing in $25 billion dollars from tobacco taxes and settlement money. However, only two of them are funding programs at the level recommended by the CDC.
Wisconsin is ranked 29th and spends roughly 10-percent of what the federal agency recommends. It is an improvement from last year’s ranking of 32nd but McGoldrick says it’s because other states are doing worse rather than the Badger State doing better. He notes Wisconsin’s prevention funding has flat lined.
The anti-tobacco advocate applauds the Badger State’s recent smoke free law and increasing the cigarette tax. More than 7,000 tobacco related deaths are occurring in Wisconsin each year; a number McGoldrick says is completely preventable.