From the Worldwide Faith News archives

USA: Many States Not Using Tobacco Settlement Cash to Fund Smoking

From "Beckett, John" <>
Date 12 Apr 2000 09:35:00

Prevention Programs

ANN Bulletin
Adventist News Network
Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters
April 11, 2000
USA: Many States Not Using Tobacco Settlement Cash to Fund Smoking
Prevention Programs
Silver Spring, Maryland, USA .... [ANN] 

Many states who are receiving payments from the tobacco companies in
settlement of a joint lawsuit are not using the additional cash to fund
smoking prevention programs, say analyses already published.

According to reports received by Dr. DeWitt Williams, health director for
the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, states are using these
payments to fund such activities as road-building, water projects, and to
reduce their general budget deficits.

"These reports are alarming since they run counter to the promises made when
these suits were filed," comments Williams. "The states said they were suing
to gain funds to reduce tobacco use, particularly among the young. It's
disturbing to read that of the 30 states receiving tobacco settlement money
this year, only eight are implementing full smoking cessation programs as
defined by the Center for Disease Control."

A report by the organization "Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids" noted that the
total settlement amount was $246 billion, but that "far too many states have
failed to live up to the promise to protect our nation's children from

The report concluded: "If current trends continue the only winners will be
the tobacco companies, which will be able to conduct business as usual. The
losers will be America's children, who will continue to fall prey to tobacco
industry marketing, and the American taxpayers, who will continue to bear
the unnecessary costs of sick and dying smokers."

Williams says that states must be encouraged to use these funds to help
smokers quit and to fund prevention programs.

"It's high time we got serious about using these funds for the purposes
promised: to reduce the numbers of those smoking. With more than 400,000
dying in the United States every year from smoking-related causes, we should
be spending every penny of the settlement payments to reduce this appalling
cost of human misery."

Seventh-day Adventists have consistently promoted a smoke-free lifestyle and
continue to provide smoking cessation programs in many communities.
[Jonathan Gallagher]

Contact Information: 
Communications Department
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600

Phone: 301-680-6300

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