Montana Has Mixed Results in Working to Reduce Tobacco Use

(January 16, 2013)

Contact: Carrie Nyssen

Montana Has Mixed Results in Working to Reduce Tobacco Use
New American Lung Association Report Follows Money Trail to See How
Tobacco Industry Addicts Kids

(HELENA, MT) [EMBARGOED UNTIL: 5 a.m. EST, January 16, 2013] – Montana took
steps forward to reduce tobacco use in some areas, but fell short in adequately funding
programs to protect children and curb tobacco-related disease in 2012 according to the
American Lung Association’s “State of Tobacco Control 2013” report released today.

The Lung Association’s “State of Tobacco Control” report tracks progress on key tobacco
control policies at the federal and state level, assigning grades based on whether laws
are adequately protecting citizens from the enormous toll tobacco use takes on lives
and the economy.

Montana received the following grades for 2012:

F Tobacco Prevention and Control Program Funding
A Smokefree Air
C Cigarette Tax
D Cessation Coverage

The 11th annual report shows how money is often at the root of the leading cause of
preventable death, as state and federal policymakers are failing to battle a deeppocketed,
ever-evolving tobacco industry.

The National Institute on Money in State Politics released a report today in conjunction
with “State of Tobacco Control 2013” called “Big Tobacco Wins Tax Battles,” revealing
preliminary data showing that tobacco manufacturers and retailers gave $53.4 million
to state candidates for office, political parties and to oppose tobacco-related ballot
measures during the 2011-2012 election cycle. This figure includes spending over $46
million to defeat California’s initiative to increase the cigarette tax by $1.00 per pack.
Tobacco manufacturers and retailers gave significant amounts of money to candidates
in the following states: California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana and Missouri.

Although Montana receives $118 million in tobacco-related revenue annually, it spends
a meager one-third of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
recommends to fund tobacco prevention and quit smoking programs. Nationally, the
failure of states to invest in policies and programs to reduce tobacco use has resulted in
3 million new youth and young adult smokers in the United States, according to the U.S.
Surgeon General.

Sadly, Montana joins many other states in neglecting to properly invest its annual
tobacco settlement funds and tobacco taxes to implement proven tactics that save lives
and reduce tobacco-related disease.

“Montana should make it a priority to invest in programs that keep our youth off
tobacco and help smokers quit,” said Carrie Nyssen, Regional Director of Advocacy for
the American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific. “That starts with fully investing
in our state tobacco prevention and control program.”

Each year, 443,000 people die from tobacco-related illnesses and secondhand smoke
exposure. Tobacco causes an estimated 1,400 deaths in Montana annually and costs
the state’s economy $600 million in healthcare costs and lost productivity, a
tremendous burden that our state can ill afford.

Tobacco companies continue to introduce and promote new products, such as candyflavored
cigars and dissolvable tobacco products. Youth, people who are low income,
Hispanics and LGBT individuals who smoke cigars are more likely to smoke flavored
cigars, according to a recent study in Nicotine and Tobacco Research. Meanwhile, the
sales and popularity of these tobacco products have surged in large part due to their
cheaper price. Each day, roughly 3,000 youths smoke a cigar for the first time.

“Our state elected officials have an opportunity to change course in 2013 and re-invest
in our tobacco control efforts,” said Ms. Nyssen. “It’s time to commit and make big
strides in the fight to end tobacco-caused death and disease in Montana.”


About the American Lung Association in Montana

The American Lung Association in Montana is a non-profit, voluntary public health
organization, working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease
in Montana. Our programs focus on the areas of asthma, clean air, tobacco prevention
and lung disease.

For more information about the American Lung Association in Montana or to support
the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA or visit: