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

and outreach activities to help smokers quit and prevent youth from starting to smoke. These organizations provide direct services to the most at-risk groups in the District, including youth and the underserved African-American, Latino and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) populations.

"City elected officials must find the resources necessary to continue funding for these tobacco use control programs that have lowered tobacco use in the nation's Capital," said Bonita Pennino, Government Relations Director of the Maryland American Cancer Society. "The withdrawal of city support will result in a rise in tobacco use among our youth and a slowing down of the number of adults who are seeking help to quit smoking."

"Our report makes it clear that DC will pay a high price if the Council fails to renew funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs - more kids will become addicted to tobacco, more lives will be lost and taxpayers will pay more to treat tobacco-caused disease," said Peter Fisher, Vice President of State Issues for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

In January 2007, the DC Council allocated $10 million in funding over three years for DCTFF to implement programs to help tobacco users quit and to prevent youth from starting to smoke, especially among Medicaid recipients and underserved residents.

Along with DC's comprehensive smoke-free law, which took effect in January 2007, and a doubling of DC's cigarette tax to $2 per pack in October 2008, DCTFF's programs have contributed to a significant decline in smoking in the District. Between 2005 and 2008, adult smoking rates declined by 19 percent, from 20.1 percent to 16.2 percent. These declines translate into the following health and financial gains:

  • 18,500 fewer adult smokers in the District;
  • 4,900 fewer premature deaths from smoking;
  • More t
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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