The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids today issued its 20th annual report, Broken Promises to Our Children, which details how states are spending revenues from both tobacco taxes and tobacco company payments made as part of the 1998 settlement agreement with those companies. The report found that Kentucky spends just 6.7 percent of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended amount for tobacco prevention and cessation programs designed to address the public health problems caused by tobacco use in the Commonwealth. The report ranks Kentucky at 35th in the nation for tobacco prevention funding. In fiscal 2020, the state will receive an estimated $507.3 million, and has allocated $3.8 million for prevention efforts. The CDC-recommended expenditure for prevention in Kentucky is $56.4 million.
Below is a statement from the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow in Kentucky about this report:
"Kentucky gets more than $500 million a year in tobacco tax revenues, but we spend less than $4 million on preventing tobacco-related diseases and helping people break their nicotine addiction," said Ben Chandler, Chair of the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow. "Kentucky simply can no longer afford this off-kilter equation. Our health care costs for smoking-related diseases total $1.92 billion every year. The Master Settlement Agreement was intended to help mitigate the cost of Big Tobacco's addiction-model business plan. We're grateful for the additional funding included in the next budget, and will advocate for continued increases to prevent a new generation with tobacco addiction, and to help current smokers quit for good."
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