Daily Archives: April 23, 2009

The Importance of Stop Smoking Prescription

Many people ask how important stop smoking prescription is for them. Almost everyone agree that stopping smoking is not an easy task to undertake. Furthermore, there are many side effects that are concerned with than the complications caused by smoking. So, what’s the relation of these with stop smoking prescription?

Tobacco Company Marketing Dwarfs Tobacco Prevention Efforts

In New England, tobacco companies spend at least $579.8 million on marketing and promoting their products.11 Many of those efforts are meant to encourage youth to start smoking, either by making the products look attractive or by lowering the product price to make them accessible to price-sensitive youth. Tobacco companies’ own documents reveal how they consider youth the
future of their business.
Although the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement placed some restrictions on tobacco company marketing activities, it failed to address many important matters. For example, the tobacco companies significantly increased their point-of-sale advertising after the MSA’s ban on tobacco
billboards went into effect. Tobacco companies have recently focused on in-store promotions and point-of-purchase advertising to attract younger smokers. This is a smart strategy since research indicates that retail cigarette advertising increases the likelihood that youth will initiate smoking and cigarette promotions increase the likelihood that youth will move from experimentation to regular smoking.12 Further, it is clear that such promotions have an especially powerful impact on kids as three out of four teenagers shop at a convenience store at
least once a week.13 A proven-effective way to oppose tobacco companies’ attempts to attract youth to a lifetime of addiction and health problems is to invest in a comprehensive tobacco prevention program.

Tobacco Money for Tobacco Prevention

The concept is simple enough: New England states should invest the millions of dollars collected through state tobacco taxes and the tobacco settlement in comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation programs to benefit the health of New England residents and state economies. New England could achieve dramatic results and put an end to the tobacco epidemic by investing even more funding into their state programs to prevent children from starting to smoke and to help all tobacco users quit.
The following pages show the toll that tobacco use is taking on each New England state, how much states are currently spending on their tobacco prevention program, and how much each state could benefit from fully funding its state tobacco prevention program at the levels recommended by the CDC.
Tobacco’s Toll in New England
Number of adults who smoke 1,870,700
Number of high school students who smoke 146,800
Deaths caused by smoking each year 20,000
Annual health care costs directly caused by smoking $7.0 billion
Directing more funding to expand states’ efforts to prevent and reduce tobacco use would dramatically improve the health of New England’s residents. Significant health and economic benefits would begin almost immediately and would quickly grow every year the program is in
place.
By increasing funding for tobacco prevention programs to the levels recommended by the CDC, the six New England states can expect to see the following benefits just from youth who stop using tobacco or never start.
Fewer state kids growing up to become addicted adult smokers 149,000
Fewer kids growing up to die prematurely from smoking 47,550
Reduced future healthcare expenditures $2.6 billion
- State Medicaid program’s share of healthcare cost savings $504.8 million
These estimates are conservative, however, because additional funding for the state’s tobacco
control program would have an impact on the use of other tobacco products besides cigarettes,
such as smokeless tobacco and cigars.
In addition, expanded investments in adequately funded, well-run statewide tobacco-prevention
programs in New England states would reduce adult smoking, thereby producing large public
health and economic benefits, among others. These adult smoking reductions would continue
to grow each year a fully funded program was in place.

New England State Has Plenty of Tobacco-Generated Revenue

Every New England State Has Plenty of Tobacco-Generated Revenue to Fund a Tobacco Prevention Program at CDC-Recommended Levels
Looming budget shortfalls should not be an excuse for states to cut tobacco prevention programs. The evidence is clear that these programs not only reduce smoking and save lives, but save money as well by reducing tobacco-related health care costs. Now more than ever, all the New England states, which have each signed onto the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), are receiving more money that they should invest in tobacco prevention and cessation programs.
This year, in New England alone, the six states can expect to receive $664.7 million in total
MSA payments. This amount includes new, unexpected money because of a special
agreement relating to the dispute between the MSA cigarette companies and the MSA states
about Non-Participating Manufacturer (NPM) adjustment withholdings based on the MSA
companies’ 2003 market share losses to NPMs. Because the original intention of the MSA
payments was to provide funds for tobacco prevention and public health purposes, states
should, at a minimum, use these “extra” payments to keep their tobacco prevention programs at
existing levels or, better yet, to increase their tobacco prevention efforts.

Progress is at Risk Unless the States Step Up Fight

The New England states have made significant progress in reducing smoking among both youth
and adults over the last 10 years, but every year a new generation of smokers take up the
deadly habit. In fact, each year, 58,500 New England kids try smoking for the first time and
another 17,300 New England kids become new regular daily smokers. One-third of them will
die prematurely as a result.1 We can prevent this.
The following factors have contributed significantly to declines in smoking since the tobacco
settlement:
. Tobacco prices increased sharply after the tobacco settlement as a result of the settlement
itself and state cigarette tax increases. The settlement led the major cigarette companies to
increase prices by more than $1.10 per pack between 1998 and 2000 (part of these
increases were used to pay the states, but about half of the price increases simply bolstered
profits). In addition, 44 states and the District of Columbia have raised cigarette tax rates 85
times since the settlement. The average state cigarette tax has increased from 39 cents per
pack in 1998 to $1.23 today. The average cigarette tax rate among the New England states
is $2.22 per pack; New Hampshire has the lowest rate at $1.33 per pack and Rhode Island
has the highest rate at $3.46 per pack.
· Funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs increased significantly in the
immediate aftermath of the tobacco settlement. While still short of CDC-recommended
levels in most states, in New England, total state funding for these programs reached a high
of $77.7 million in fiscal year 2000. In addition, the settlement provided about $300 million a
year over five years to create a national foundation, the American Legacy Foundation, to
conduct national public education campaigns to reduce tobacco use. A substantial body of
research has demonstrated the effectiveness of both state tobacco prevention and
cessation programs and the American Legacy Foundation’s truth® national youth smoking
prevention campaign.†
· A growing number of states and communities have enacted strong smoke-free workplace
laws. In 1998, none of the New England states had a smoke-free law that applied to
restaurants and bars. Today, all New England states have a smoke-free law providing
protections from harmful secondhand smoke – and incentives to quit smoking – to most of
the New England population.
Unfortunately, we have failed to achieve greater progress in reducing tobacco use because we
have experienced large cuts to tobacco prevention programs, huge increases in tobacco
marketing and aggressive efforts by tobacco companies to discount cigarette prices:

BROKEN PROMISES ON TOBACCO CONTROL

The New England states have an unprecedented opportunity to reduce tobacco use.  46 states, including all of the New England states, settled their lawsuits against the nation’s major tobacco companies to recover tobacco-related health care costs. These settlements require the tobacco companies to make annual payments to the states in perpetuity, with total payments estimated at $246 billion over the first 25 years. The tobacco settlements presented the states with a historic opportunity and record sums of money to attack the enormous public health problem posed by tobacco use in the United States. While the multi-state settlement did not dictate how states should spend the money, many state attorneys general and governors pledged that they would use the tobacco companies’ own money to protect kids from tobacco and help those already addicted to quit. Ten years after the November 1998 state tobacco settlement, we find that most of the New England states have failed to keep their promise to use a significant portion of the settlement funds to reduce tobacco’s terrible toll on America’s children, families and communities.
This year, in addition to their regular April 15th payments, the states have already received new,
unexpected payments because of a special agreement relating to a payment dispute between the
MSA cigarette companies and the MSA states. Pursuant to this agreement, cigarette companies
that withheld payments to the states in prior years are releasing some of those withheld funds to
the states.*
Key findings of this report include:
· Currently, none of the New England states is funding tobacco prevention programs at levels
recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Only two states
– Maine and Vermont – are funding tobacco prevention at even half the CDC’s recommended
amount. Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island are providing less
than twenty percent of the recommended funding.
· Total funding for state tobacco prevention programs this year in the New England region is
$42.6 million. This amounts to just 21.6 percent of the $197.2 million the CDC recommends for
these six states combined.
· The states this year will collect more than $1.8 billion in revenue from the tobacco settlement
and tobacco taxes, but will spend only 2.3 percent of it on tobacco prevention programs. It
would take 10.5 percent of total tobacco-generated revenue to fund tobacco prevention and
cessation programs across New England at CDC-recommended levels.

Ignore tobacco taxes and lose your vehicle

A new Alberta law will allow authorities to seize vehicles and other property if tobacco taxes are ignored.

Titusville Housing Authority passes new no smoking policy for tenants on oxygen

Tenants of Titusville Housing Authority-owned units who use oxygen tanks will not be allowed to smoke in the buildings under a new policy that goes into effect May 23.

Altria Profit Meets Analysts’ Estimates on Prices

Altria Group Inc., the largest U.S. tobacco company, said first-quarter profit rose as the top- selling Marlboro brand gained market share, even after it raised cigarette prices three times in four months.