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States Spending Fraction of Recommended Amount on Anti-Smoking Campaigns

Only two states – North Dakota and Alaska – are spending at the levels the CDC suggests. Everyone else, not so much.

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Cigarettes kill 1 in 5 every year.
Photo via Shutterstock

By Shawn Dwyer

12/16/13

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According to a new report issued by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, most states in the union are spending less – far, far less – than they recommend on anti-smoking programs.

In Fiscal Year 2014, the CDC will dole out some $25 billion in grants that come from the landmark Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement that was put into place in 1998 following a massive lawsuit by 46 states to recoup tobacco-related healthcare costs. But instead, less than a mere two percent – just $481 million – will be spent by the states on programs designed to help smokers quit and prevent new smokers from getting started. For comparison, Big Tobacco spent $8.8 billion in advertising in 2011.

Only North Dakota and Alaska will spend 100% of their recommended amounts, with Delaware, Hawaii, Wyoming, and Oklahoma trailing behind at just over 50 percent. Thirty-one states will wind up paying less than a quarter of the CDC’s suggested amount, with two of the largest states, New York and California, coming in at a meager 15.5% and 14.7% respectively. Texas, which has the nation’s second-largest population, will spend a woeful 4.2 percent.

Even though the percentage of Americans who smoke has dropped from 42 percent in 1965 to 20.6 percent in 2009, smoking still causes one out of every five deaths in the United States every year, including 49,400 deaths from second-hand smoke alone.

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