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New Poll Shows Virginia Voters Overwhelmingly Favor Funding for Tobacco Prevention
Date:2/6/2008

RICHMOND, Va., Feb. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new statewide survey released today shows that Virginia voters overwhelmingly support using tobacco settlement and tobacco tax revenue for programs to prevent kids from starting to smoke and help smokers quit.

The poll of 500 Virginia voters was released today by the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The groups reiterated the need to sustain and increase funding for the state's program to reduce tobacco use in Virginia.

Eight out of 10 (80 percent) Virginia voters believe funding for the state's tobacco prevention program should be more than or equal to the level recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Just 16 percent feel that funding for Virginia's tobacco prevention program should be below the CDC recommendation. Support for tobacco prevention comes from a broad base of Virginians.

"We can spend a little now or a lot later," said Delegate John O'Bannon (R - Henrico). "Tobacco prevention is one of the smartest and most fiscally responsible investments we can make, even in difficult budget times. If we continue to invest in tobacco prevention now, we will not only reduce smoking and save lives, but also save far more money than we spend by reducing smoking-caused health care costs."

Support for tobacco prevention funding is not surprising, given that 72 percent of Virginians said that the state should spend at least one-half of the funds it receives from the tobacco settlement and tobacco tax on programs to reduce tobacco use. Virginia collects about $300 million a year in revenue from the tobacco settlement and state tobacco taxes. It takes about one-third of this tobacco revenue to fund tobacco prevention at the level recommended by the CDC ($103 million dollars per year).

"It is only right to use funds derived from the harms of tobacco to adequately
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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