Today, the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow called on Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear to allocate the $14 million the state is expected to receive through a settlement between e-cigarette maker JUUL and 34 attorneys general, to Kentucky’s Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Programs under the direction of the Kentucky Department of Health and in partnership with Kentucky’s local health departments.
In a letter to Governor Beshear, the Coalition highlights JUUL’s failure to disclose its product contained nicotine and that it had a lower amount of nicotine, which caused kids to believe JUUL’s product was not harmful, including those in Kentucky. Vaping e-cigarettes is a serious problem in the Commonwealth, with 20.5% of high school students having reported using e-cigarettes.
“By investing the funds from the JUUL settlement in tobacco use prevention and cessation programming, we can make a considerable investment in our kids’ health now and will make for a healthier Kentucky in the future,” the letter states.
There is a significant lack of annual funding for the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Programs in Kentucky. In Fiscal Year 2022, only 19 local health departments across the state provided monetary support for local tobacco prevention and prevention efforts.
“Allocating funds from the settlement to Kentucky’s Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Programs would enable Health Educators and Tobacco Coordinators at more health departments to provide education in schools, hold cessation classes, and conduct communitywide education and promote program and resources, such as My Life, My Quit, for teens who want help quitting all forms of tobacco, including vaping,” the letter states.
The Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow is made up of a diverse group of stakeholders, including the American Lung Association, who have formed a statewide organization dedicated to improving Kentucky’s health by protecting Kentuckians from secondhand smoke and other tobacco emissions, and by reducing the high rate of smoking and tobacco use in the Commonwealth.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.