Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - April 26, 2018 


President Trump’s lawyer due in court today. Also on our rundown: HUD Secretary Ben Carson proposes raising the rent on low-income families; plus we will look at efforts to address addiction in Ohio: what’s working, and what’s not.

Daily Newscasts

Report Ranks CT 29th in Nation for Funding Tobacco Prevention

PHOTO: A new national report says Connecticut's smoking-prevention efforts lag behind many states, ranking it 29th in the nation for the amount spent on prevention and cessation programs. Photo credit: Mike Clifford
PHOTO: A new national report says Connecticut's smoking-prevention efforts lag behind many states, ranking it 29th in the nation for the amount spent on prevention and cessation programs. Photo credit: Mike Clifford
January 12, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. - The latest report on how well states are funding tobacco prevention and cessation efforts has Connecticut ranked 29th in the nation.

John Schachter, director of communications with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, says Connecticut will take in more than a half-billion dollars in tobacco tax and settlement revenue this year, but will spend less than one percent of that money just 43.5 million to help smokers quit and prevent kids from starting.

"As a result, their youth smoking rate is still very high at 13.5 percent, and tobacco-related illnesses are costing the state 5,000 lives a year and over $2 billion," says Schachter.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends Connecticut spend at least $32 million a year on prevention, but according to the report, the state spends just 11 percent of that target amount. Meantime, the tobacco industry spends $78 million annually to market its products in Connecticut.

The report points to Florida as an example other states should follow. Schachter says the Sunshine State cut its high school smoking rate in half from 15 percent to 7.5 percent by adequately funding tobacco prevention through a voter-approved ballot initiative.

"We would actually save 2.3 million lives, over $120 billion in healthcare costs," says Schachter. "We would prevent 7 million kids from becoming adult smokers, if we can get every state to just achieve Florida's rate, let alone go beyond that."

Schachter says if Connecticut followed Florida's lead, the state could save nearly 17,000 lives, as well as $840 million in healthcare expenses. He adds tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. with nearly a half-million deaths each year.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - CT