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Tobacco Tax Money Not Funding Prevention


None of the 14 states (plus the District of Columbia) that raised their tobacco taxes last year dedicated a dime of the resulting revenues to tobacco-prevention programs, Reuters reported April 8.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health said that the average state tobacco tax rose from $1.18 per pack in 2008 to $1.34 per pack nationally last year. Higher cigarette taxes can prevent both youth and adult smoking, the CDC said.

However, American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said that legslators “can multiply the positive impact of a tax increase on both public health and their state's fiscal health by dedicating a portion of the money to implementing tobacco prevention programs that have, in some cases, reduced youth smoking by up to 40 percent.”

The report appears in the April 9, 2010 issue of CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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