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New Report Finds Missouri is Falling Behind in Protecting Kids From Tobacco
Date:2/11/2009

year in Missouri, tobacco use claims approximately 9,500 lives and costs the state more than $2.13 billion in health care bills, including $532 million under the Medicaid program. Smoking-caused government expenditures amount to a hidden tax of $592 per Missouri household. The tobacco industry spends $423 million a year on marketing in Missouri.

Fortunately, Missouri already has a blueprint for reducing tobacco's deadly toll, according to the report. State and national experts joined with officials from the state's Department of Health and Senior Services in 2006 to draft a comprehensive tobacco prevention plan for Missouri based on strategies proven highly-successful in other states. Missouri also has the committed professional staff prepared to successfully implement the plan, and an active and engaged group of youth ready to lead the way. The only problem is that lack of funding makes it impossible to put even a fraction of the plan into action.

"Tobacco is not only the No. 1 preventable cause of death and disease in Missouri - it is a substantial drag on the state economy. Meanwhile Missouri is failing to realize the intent of the funds from the MSA, and that is endangering Missouri's youth, who are being targeted as the next generation of addicted smokers. This report has shown that Missouri can and must do better," the report concluded.

"Providing significant funding for the first time to this critically-important and badly-needed state tobacco prevention program would produce enormous use declines and related public health and economic benefits. The people, businesses and taxpayers of Missouri deserve no less."

To view the entire report, please go to: http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/campaign/missouri/2009/keepingthepromise.pdf


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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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