American Lung Association Applauds Release of Updated CDC Best Practices

Document Emphasizes Importance of Well-Funded Tobacco Prevention Programs

New York, NY (October 24, 2007)

Statement from Bernadette A. Toomey, President and CEO, American Lung Association:

The American Lung Association welcomes the update to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs.  The 2007 edition reinforces the need for states to adequately fund evidence-based tobacco control and prevention programs to reduce the death and disease caused by tobacco use.     

Originally published in 1999, the best practices document has served as roadmap for states to implement the most effective tobacco control programs.  A comprehensive, well-funded tobacco control program is one of the most important things states can do to stop the tobacco epidemic.  Sadly, as the American Lung Association’s State of Tobacco Control 2006 report notes only three states – Colorado, Delaware and Maine – funded these life saving programs at or above the CDC recommended minimum levels for FY2007. 

The CDC estimates that if states funded their tobacco control programs at the recommended level of investment for 5 years, it would result in 5 million fewer smokers.  This translates into hundreds of thousands of lives saved and billions of dollars in health care and other savings.  In the updated report, the CDC has reviewed the science and analyzed effective state tobacco control programs.   Based on that evaluation, CDC now recommends a level of investment for each state’s tobacco control program that reflects CDC’s best judgment of what each state – based on its specific characteristics – must spend to implement with sufficient intensity an evidence-based comprehensive tobacco control program. 

In 2005, the cigarette companies spent $13.1 billion marketing their products, according to a report issued earlier this year by the Federal Trade Commission.  This massive campaign by the tobacco companies to addict a new generation of America’s youth must be countered by states through well-funded, evidence-based programs as outlined in the CDC’s revised Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs. 

The CDC is showing states what needs to be done.  The evidence that these programs are effective at reducing smoking is robust and clear.  It is now a question of political will to address the enormous toll that tobacco use extracts on the public.  We urge each state to rise to the challenge and fully fund effective tobacco control programs based on the revised Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs.  The American Lung Association will continue to push each Governor and state legislature to make saving lives from tobacco a priority and to fund these vital, public health programs at the new levels recommended by CDC.

About the American Lung Association
Beginning our second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to prevent lung disease and promote lung health. Lung disease death rates continue to increase while other leading causes of death have declined. The American Lung Association funds vital research on the causes of and treatments for lung disease. With the generous support of the public, the American Lung Association is “Improving life, one breath at a time.” For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or log on to
 www.lung.org.