The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids issued a press release indicating that Michigan ranks 42nd in the nation in funding programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit.
This news is sad but unsurprising given the fact that the state spends a measly 2.1% of the CDC recommended funding level. Although the state took a step in the right direction when it passed the smoke free law last December, it has failed to adequately provide fund tobacco dependence treatment programs that would help smokers quit. It has also continued its pattern of drastically underfunding prevention measures, thereby contributing to the increase in tobacco use among high schoolers.
This trend of increased use and decreased funding can be reversed. Shifting the Other Tobacco Products (OTP) tax rate to a price-based model on par with the cigarette tax would generate over $40 million for the state and would yield a 24% decrease in youth OTP usage.
For more information on Michigan's OTP rates, please join us at a webinar tomorrow, Thursday, November 18th titled "Tobacco Tax Increases as a Strategy to Prevent and Eliminate Tobacco Use." The webinar begins at 11:00 a.m. and ends at 12:00 noon EST. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
For more information on TFK's settlement reports, including the full report and state-specific information, can be obtained at www.tobaccofreekids.org/reports/settlements.