Anyone can be an advocate and Ohio students provided it during Kick Butts Day! For the second year in a row, students from around the state descended on the statehouse to advocate for comprehensive tobacco prevention funding.
As with last year, Ohio is still ranked 50th in state dollars dedicated to tobacco prevention and cessation efforts. The students urged legislators to not fall for tobacco industry tactics and believe that Ohio's tobacco problem is solved. In fact, Ohio collects nearly $1 billion in tobacco related fees and taxes, but spends $0 protecting kids from starting and helping current users quit. Here are a few of the current stats related to tobacco in our state:
- About 42% of Ohio's Medicaid population uses tobacco.
- 25.2% of Ohio's adults use tobacco.
- Ohio has a tax loophole. By correcting the loophole that Other Tobacco Products have enjoyed for years and making the OTP tax 55% - comparable to cigarettes - the products would no longer be cheaper and more appealing to our kids.
Just as these statistics are scary, so are zombies! Check out the photos below from the event and check out additional photos on Facebook.