Marketplace has a new podcast for kids, "Million Bazillion!" EPISODE OUT NOW

States cut anti-smoking efforts despite tobacco money windfall

Marketplace Contributor Dec 6, 2012
HTML EMBED:
COPY

States cut anti-smoking efforts despite tobacco money windfall

Marketplace Contributor Dec 6, 2012
HTML EMBED:
COPY

A new report finds states are expected to collect record revenue this year from a 1998 settlement with the tobacco industry, taking in a total of almost $27 billion from the settlement and tobacco taxes. But only a tiny fraction of that money will be used to discourage people from smoking.

The study by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids finds states are spending less than two percent of the money on prevention — only around $500 million a year.

Spokesman Vince Willmore says that doesn’t come close to the $8 billion that the industry still puts into marketing:

“Tobacco companies spend more than $18 to encourage people to smoke for every $1 the states spend to keep kids from smoking and help smokers quit,” says Willmore.

Most of the $27 billion in settlement money and tobacco taxes is going instead to plug budget holes, a move that Willmore calls  shortsighted. He says a recent study found every dollar spent on tobacco prevention saves states $5 in public health care expenses.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.