Tobacco Cessation Funding Works

The tobacco industry is constantly trying to find ways to addict a new generation to tobacco products. More than 11,000 Washingtonian youth try cigarettes for the first time each year, and one in three kids who get hooked on tobacco will die prematurely from tobacco-related diseases.1

hero_image===https://assets.nationbuilder.com/yourethecure/pages/40061/attachments/original/1718642907/Tobacco_Money.png?1718642907
hero_image_alt_text===Cigarettes and Money rolled into box
thumbnail===https://assets.nationbuilder.com/yourethecure/pages/40061/attachments/original/1718642907/Tobacco_Money.png?1718642907
thumbnail_alt_text===Cigarettes and Money rolled into box

Washington State previously had a tobacco cessation and prevention framework where from 2000 - 2009, we dedicated about $23.6 million of state funds each year in the Department of Health's comprehensive prevention and cessation program. During this time, we saw a decrease in overall smoking rates. However, due to the 2008 recession, the state significantly scaled back funding for tobacco cessation and prevention, only spending an average of $2.3 million per year between 2012 - 2022.

As state funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs has dropped, an alarming number of youth have started using tobacco products, especially e-cigarettes. Additionally, communities of color and the LGBTQ+ community suffer from disproportionately high tobacco use and health disparities.2 The tobacco industry’s aggressive targeting of these communities underscores the dire need for community-based prevention, education and cessation efforts.

Tobacco prevention and cessation programs not only reduce smoking rates and save lives, they also save money by reducing tobacco-related health care costs. When well-funded, the Washington Tobacco Prevention and Control Program saved $5 in health care costs for every $1 invested.3 This strong return on investment demonstrates that tobacco prevention is one of the smartest and most fiscally responsible investments our state can make.

Join us in advocating to rebuild Washington's tobacco and prevention programs! Due to your advocacy, we were able to negotiate ongoing funding of $5 million for the biennium ($2.5 million per year), and one time funding of $500,000 for FY 2025. Increased ongoing funding is needed to continue to rebuild Washington's tobacco prevention framework.

We must act now to inform Washington's youth about the dangers of tobacco use and nicotine addiction, and support them in their journey to end their use. Together, we can increase cessation support and prevent a new generation of youth from becoming addicted.

 

1 Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Toll of Tobacco in Washington. https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/problem/toll-us/washington

2 Washington State Department of Health, Washington Tobacco Facts, 2015. https://doh.wa.gov/data-statistical-reports/health-behaviors/tobacco

3 Julia A. Dilley, Program, Policy and Price Interventions for Tobacco Control: Quantifying the Return on Investment of a State Tobacco Control Program, American Journal of Public Health, 2011, http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2011.300506

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