Tell Pennsylvania's Legislators

They Can't Afford Not To Fund Tobacco Prevention And Cessation Programs

Harrisburg (June 21, 2010)

HERE’S WHY:

20,000 people die every year in PA from tobacco-use. That’s 57 people a day. Every day.
Tobacco’s  price tag for the tax payers in  PA is $5.19 Billion and counting!

It is critical that Pennsylvania lawmakers fund tobacco prevention programs to keep kids from smoking because the tobacco companies are spending record amounts, $533.9 million in the Commonwealth, marketing their deadly products.

The evidence is clear that tobacco prevention programs work to reduce smoking, save lives and save money by reducing tobacco-related health care costs.  Studies have shown that the more states spend on tobacco prevention, the lower the youth smoking rates and overall tobacco use. 

IT IS ONLY RIGHT THAT STATES USE TOBACCO MONEY TO FIGHT THE TOBACCO PROBLEM. 

HERE’S HOW:

Please call your legislator’s offices today  (District and State offices) and ask him/her not to redirect the Master Settlement Agreement funds to the General Fund and to continue funding prevention and cessation programs.  This diversion would set a dangerous precedent in Pennsylvania.  Our youth deserve these funds to stop the harmful effects of tobacco use.  To find out who your legislator is or what his/her phone number is us the following website: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/  Talking points are attached below. 

Please let me know if your legislator provides any feedback. If you have any questions or feedback, I can be reached at dbrown@lunginfo.org

Thank you.

TALKING POINTS

• Tobacco use kills more than 20,000 adults in Pennsylvania every year and costs taxpayers 5.19 billion health care costs annually.  
• Nearly 90 percent of smokers began as kids, and 4000 kids try their first cigarette every day.  Another 16,100 Pennsylvania youth become regular smokers each day, and one-third of them will die a premature death as a result.  
• Legislators can’t afford not to do this!
• Comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation programs are a proven method of preventing kids from starting to smoke and helping adult smokers quit.
• It is critical that Pennsylvania lawmakers fund tobacco prevention programs to keep kids from smoking because the tobacco companies are spending record amounts, $533.9 million in the Commonwealth, marketing their deadly products.  And a recent Harvard School of Public Health study found that the tobacco companies have secretly and significantly increased the levels of nicotine in cigarette smoke since 1998.
• The evidence is clear that tobacco prevention programs work to reduce smoking, save lives and save money by reducing tobacco-related health care costs.  Studies have shown that the more states spend on tobacco prevention, the lower the youth smoking rates and overall tobacco use. 

IT’S ONLY RIGHT THAT STATES USE TOBACCO MONEY TO FIGHT THE TOBACCO PROBLEM. 

At the time of the $246 billion state tobacco settlement, states promised to use the money to fund programs to prevent kids from starting to smoke and help smokers quit.  Unfortunately, most states have broken that promise.  It’s not too late for states to keep their promise and fund tobacco prevention, especially since most states have increased tobacco taxes since the settlement and collect record amounts of tobacco revenue each year (this fiscal year, the states will collect a record $21.7 billion in tobacco-generated revenue).

Tobacco prevention programs are a smart investment for states that save money by reducing smoking-caused health care costs.  The best state tobacco prevention programs have saved $3 in health care costs for every dollar spent.