The monumental Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement between 46 states and the “Big 4” tobacco companies was finalized in 1998. Since then, not one penny of the $1 billion Oregon has received in settlement funds has gone towards tobacco prevention.
For the first time in a decade, we have the opportunity to invest Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement dollars toward the original purpose: compensating Oregon for taxpayer money spent on patients and family members with tobacco-related diseases and reducing tobacco use, with a focus on Oregon’s children.
To fulfill the original intent of the Agreement and create long-term savings in Oregon’s health system, the TMSA Campaign recommends all $120 million settlement funds available in 2013-2015 be allocated to health and wellness efforts.
- $73 million for Oregon’s health transformation: Investing in health transformation and prevention could leverage up to $120 million in matching federal dollars for coordinated care organizations and community partnerships to reduce tobacco use and improve health outcomes. This is a significant investment in improving health, and reducing health care costs, for Oregon.
- $35 million for children’s health and wellness: Focusing efforts on our children’s health and wellness will reduce chronic illness, improve mental and oral health, and integrate healthy behaviors.
- $12 million to reduce smoking in Oregon: According to a recent poll, 85% of Oregon voters favor dedicating at least 10% of Oregon settlement money to tobacco prevention programs. For every $1 spent on tobacco interventions, the State of Oregon realizes a $5 return on investment from reduced tobacco-related costs.