North Dakota ranked No. 1 for funding to reduce tobacco useA ballot measure approved by North Dakotans last year to boost funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs has earned the state a No. 1 ranking in a national report by several health advocacy groups.
By: The Forum,
A ballot measure approved by North Dakotans last year to boost funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs has earned the state a No. 1 ranking in a national report by several health advocacy groups.
The report released Wednesday lists North Dakota as the only state to fund such programs at the level recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We applaud North Dakota for becoming the nation’s leader in funding programs to fight tobacco use, the No. 1 cause of preventable death,” Matthew L. Meyers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said in a news release announcing the report.
In November 2008, 54 percent of the state’s voters approved creating a Tobacco Prevention and Control Executive Committee and funding a comprehensive program at a minimum level of $9.3 million annually, as recommended by the CDC.
The state spent $9.4 million on prevention and cessation programs this year, compared with $4.1 million in 2008, when it ranked 12th in the report.
The fully funded, comprehensive program is expected to reduce youth smoking in the state by 12.7 percent and prompt more than 3,500 adult smokers to quit for good in the first five years, according to Jeanne Prom, executive director of the committee’s Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy.
Since 1999, North Dakota has received an average of about $26 million annually from a settlement with the tobacco industry.
The report, titled “A Broken Promise to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 11 Years Later,” also was released by the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and the Herald are Forum Communications Co. newspapers.
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