Tobacco Prevention Program Funding

The American Lung Association strongly supports funding state tobacco prevention and quitting programs at levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These programs provide services to help people quit tobacco use, provide education to prevent young people from starting and increase knowledge of the dangers of tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure generally. Sustained investment in these vital public health programs over the long term will prevent thousands of tobacco-related illnesses and deaths and save billions of dollars in medical expenses.

However, only four states are currently funding state tobacco control programs at close to the level recommended by CDC. Overall, states collect over $25.9 billion from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes each year, but they spend less than three cents of every dollar on programs to help prevent and reduce tobacco use.

Why Fully Funding Tobacco Prevention and Quitting Programs Is Important:

  • Tobacco prevention and quitting programs are very cost effective. A recent study found that California's tobacco control program saved over $155 in health care cost savings for every $1 invested from 1989 to 2019. Another 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.
  1. Lightwood JM, Anderson S, Glantz SA (2023) Smoking and healthcare expenditure reductions associated with the California Tobacco Control Program, 1989 to 2019: A predictive validation. PLoS ONE 18(3): e0263579

  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: May 2, 2024

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