Tobacco’s Toll in Texas – It Really Stinks!

We all know about the November 1998 tobacco settlement act in which all the states promised to set aside significant amounts of fund for smoking cessation programs and quit smoking propaganda. But in reality it is being seen that most of the states in USA are spending far less funds on stop smoking and smoking cessation programs than the amount stipulated by CDC.

The situation has reached alarming proportions in Texas. Texas is one of those dozen states where less than 10% of the funds are being spent on tobacco prevention programs contrary to the recommendation laid down by CDC.

In Texas, The CDC has allotted $ 266.3 million for tobacco prevention programs. But in the fiscal year of 2010, only a paltry sum of $ 13.3 million has been spent for the aforementioned cause.

And do you have any idea about the amount of money being generated as tobacco revenue (in the fiscal year 2010)? $1863 million was generated as tobacco revenue in 2010! Phew! That’s an awful sum, really. In Texas, the federal government spent in 2010 $ 1.87 million as against $ 802000 in 2009 on tobacco prevention.

The Texan state government spent $ 11.4 million on stop smoking programs in the fiscal year 2010 as against $ 11.8 million spent Pipe tobacco for sale in 2009. This means Texas spent only 5% of the funds allotted for smoking cessation programs in 2010 as against 4.7% in 2009! No wonder the state ranks 46th – an abysmal low in the quit smoking efforts category!

So how well is the Texas Tobacco Settlement faring? What does it indicate? What is the end result of the Texas tobacco prevention funding? Let us take a look at some indicative figures. 21.1% high school students in Texas have taken up smoking.

Each day, some 27100 kids under the age of 18 years add themselves to the list of new daily smokers. There are at least 503000 under-aged kids in Texas who will die prematurely from the harmful effects of smoking, one day in the future, though they are alive now.

18.6% Texan adults are habitual smokers. And some 24500 adults are the casualties of smoking every year in Texas. They are active smokers. $5.83 billion is the total amount of Texan annual health care cost – a direct result of smoking! The figures themselves show how worse the tobacco situation has become in Texas.

It is also ironical to see that although Texas earns more and more tobacco generated revenue with each passing year, the amount being spent on tobacco cessation programs under the Texas Tobacco Settlement is becoming lesser and lesser with each passing day. This does not forebode any good. As they say, the situation stinks.

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