Tobacco Prevention Program Funding

The American Lung Association strongly supports funding state tobacco prevention and cessation programs at levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sustained investment in these vital public health programs over the long term will prevent thousands of illnesses and deaths from tobacco use and save billions of dollars in medical expenses.

However, only three states are currently funding state tobacco control programs at close to the level recommended by CDC. Overall states collect over $27.2 billion from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes each year, but spend less than three cents of every dollar to help prevent and reduce tobacco use.

Why Fully Funding Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Programs is Important:

  • Tobacco prevention and cessation programs are very cost effective. A 2013 study found that California's tobacco control program saved over $55 in health care cost savings for every $1 invested from 1989 to 2008. A 2011 study showed that Washington's program saved the state $5 in just tobacco-related hospitalization costs for every $1 spent from 2000 to 2009.
  • Fewer young people would smoke. One study concluded that if states spent just the minimum amount recommended by the CDC, youth smoking rates would be 3 percent to 14 percent lower nationwide.
  • Fewer adults would smoke. A study concluded that if states had spent just the minimum amount recommended by the CDC between 1995 and 2003, there would have been between 2.2 million and 7.1 million fewer smokers.
  • Click here for more information on state tobacco control programs
  • See how your state measures up in our State of Tobacco Control report
  1. Lightwood J, Glantz SA (2013) The Effect of the California Tobacco Control Program on Smoking Prevalence, Cigarette Consumption, and Healthcare Costs: 1989-2008. PLoS ONE 8(2): e47145

  2. Dilley JA, Harris JR, Boysun MJ, Reid TR. Program, Policy and Price Interventions for Tobacco Control: Quantifying the Return on Investment of a State Tobacco Control Program. Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print. December 15, 2011: e1-e7.

  3. Taurus JA, Chaloupka FJ, Farrelly MC, Giovino GA, Wakefield M, Johnston LD, O’Malley PM, Kloska DD, Pechacek TF. State Tobacco Control Spending and Youth Smoking. Am. J. Public Health. 2005 Feb.; 95(2): 338-44.

  4. Farrelly MC, Pechacek TF, Thomas KY, Nelson D. The Impact of Tobacco Control Programs on Adult Smoking. Am J Public Health. 2008 Feb.; 98(2): 304-9.

Page last updated: November 17, 2022

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