WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Nebraska ranks 25th nationwide in funding programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit, according to a report released today by a coalition of public health organizations. Nebraska is spending $2.6 million this year on tobacco prevention and cessation programs, which is just 12.4 percent of the $20.8 million recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The report challenges states to do more to fight tobacco use – the nation’s No. 1 cause of preventable death – and help make the next generation tobacco-free. In Nebraska, 13.3 percent of high school students still smoke, and 1,000 kids become regular smokers each year. Tobacco use claims 2,500 Nebraska lives and costs the state $795 million in health care bills annually.
Other key findings in the report include:
“Nebraska is putting children’s health at risk and costing taxpayers money by refusing to fund tobacco prevention programs that save lives and health care dollars,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “Because of the tremendous progress our country has made in reducing smoking, it is within our reach to win the fight against tobacco and make the next generation tobacco-free. Nebraska should be doing everything it can to protect kids from tobacco.”
Today’s report, titled “Broken Promises to Our Children: A State-by-State Look at the 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 18 Years Later,” was released by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights and Truth Initiative.
Nationwide, the U.S. has cut smoking rates to record lows – 15.1 percent among adults and 10.8 percent among high school students in 2015. If recent progress in reducing adult smoking continues, the U.S. could eliminate smoking by around 2035, according to a recent analysis in The New England Journal of Medicine.
By funding tobacco prevention and cessation programs at the CDC’s recommended levels, the states can help achieve this goal. But today’s report finds most states are falling far short:
Each year in the U.S., tobacco use kills more than 480,000 people and costs the nation at least $170 billion in health care expenses.
The report and state-specific information can be found at tfk.org/statereport.
Source: Yahoo News
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