WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- North Dakota ranks 1st inthe nation in funding programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit, according to a national report released today by a coalition of public health organizations. North Dakota's top ranking results from the
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North Dakota currently spends $9.4 million a year on tobacco prevention and cessation programs, which meets the CDC's recommendation that the state spend $9.3 million. North Dakota is the only state to meet the CDC's recommendation. Last year, North Dakota ranked 12th, spending $4.1 million on tobacco prevention.
"We applaud North Dakota for becoming the nation's leader in funding programs to fight tobacco use, the number one cause of preventable death," said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "Tobacco prevention is a smart investment for North Dakota that will improve the state's physical and financial health for generations to come. The evidence is clear that tobacco prevention programs work to reduce smoking, save lives and save money by reducing tobacco-related health care costs. To succeed, it is vital that North Dakota sustain its investment in tobacco prevention over time."
The annual report on states' funding of tobacco prevention programs, titled "A Broken Promise to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 11 Years Later," was released by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Other key findings for North Dakota include:
In North Dakota, 21.1 percent of high school students smoke, and 600 more kids become regular smokers every year. Each year, tobacco claims 800 lives and costs the state $247 million in health care bills.
Eleven years after the 1998 state tobacco settlement, the new report finds that the states this year are collecting record amounts of revenue from the tobacco industry, but are spending less of it on tobacco prevention. Key national findings of the report include:
The report warns that the nation's progress in reducing smoking is at risk unless states increase funding for programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit. The United States has significantly reduced smoking among both youth and adults, but the CDC's most recent survey showed that smoking declines among adults have stalled. Currently 20 percent of high school students and 20.6 percent of adults smoke.
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., killing more than 400,000 people and costing $96 billion in health care bills each year. Every day, another 1,000 kids become regular smokers -- one-third of them will die prematurely as a result.
More information, including the full report and state-specific information, can be obtained at www.tobaccofreekids.org/reports/settlements.
SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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