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Public Health, Faith Leaders Call on DC Council to Renew Funding for Successful Tobacco Prevention Programs
Date:9/14/2009

New Report Finds Failure to Renew Funding Would Increase Youth Smoking, Health Costs

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- District public health and faith leaders today called on the DC Council to immediately renew funding for the DC Tobacco Free Families (DCTFF) Campaign, the District's highly successful tobacco prevention and cessation program.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080918/CFTFKLOGO)

Health advocates are urging the Council to maintain funding for DCTFF at its current level of $3.6 million annually so it can continue its effective work to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit. Unless the Council quickly renews funding, DCTFF will be forced to eliminate most of its activities by the end of the month - just as a 50-cent increase in DC's cigarette tax, which takes effect October 1, will encourage more smokers to seek help in quitting.

Underscoring the urgent need to renew funding, public health leaders released a new report by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids that details both the dramatic effectiveness of DCTFF's programs and the severe health and financial harm DC will suffer if the program's funding is not renewed. If funding is not renewed, the report concludes that DC can expect the following increases in youth smoking and related costs:

  • Youth smoking will increase by 9.6 percent, resulting in 2,400 more current high school smokers.
  • 760 more kids alive today will eventually die prematurely from smoking-caused deaths.
  • Health care costs due to smoking will increase by $42 million, including $4.8 million under the Medicaid program.
  • At least a dozen DC organizations will no longer have funding to conduct prevention
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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