U.S. House Appropriations Committee Puts Tobacco Industry Before Health
Stakeholder groups strongly oppose a $110 million funding cut to the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH), as presented in the FY 2017 House Appropriations bill.
In a July 12 Letter to leaders of the House Appropriations Committee, (spearheaded by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids) 47 organizations called on legislators to restore that funding and allocate at least $210 million — the same amount Congress enacted for FY 2016 — to the OSH.”[This work] is critical to ending the tobacco epidemic that takes far too many lives and exacts an enormous financial toll on the nation’s economy,” the groups explain.
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ President Matthew Myers also added in July 13 Press Release, “This funding cut makes no sense given the proven effectiveness of the CDC’s tobacco prevention and cessation programs and tobacco’s terrible toll in health, lives and health care dollars. It serves only the interests of the tobacco industry.” The July 12 letter adds, “Cuts to OSH funding would lead to more young people using tobacco products, fewer adult tobacco users quitting, more people with tobacco-caused diseases, more premature deaths and higher future health care costs for treating tobacco-caused disease,”.
How could cuts to OSH effect Tobacco Free Wichita Coalition?
- OSH provides funding and technical assistance to state health departments to help them maintain and enhance tobacco prevention and cessation programs at the state and community levels.
- Essential OSH research programs on the prevalence of tobacco use are in jeopardy. This research is used to alert policymakers about related trends, such as the recent dramatic rise in e-cigarette use among adolescents.
- One of the most high-profile activities OSH funds is the national Tips From Former Smokers media campaign. During a period of just over two months in 2014, 1.8 million Americans who smoke were motivated by the campaign to make a quit attempt, and 104,000 smokers actually quit. According to the stakeholder letter, the House’s proposed funding cut “would make it virtually impossible for CDC to continue this vital campaign,”.
- OSH also provides a considerable amount to states each year for tobacco quitlines, which have been shown to “greatly increase the chances that a smoker will quit successfully,“ the groups state.
Fortunately, the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a bill that provides the current level of funding, $210 million, for the CDC’s tobacco control programs for FY 2017. TFW urges everyone to CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS and ask Congress to provide (at least) the current level of funding in final legislation.
August 01, 2016 04:02 pm AAFP News Staff
July 13, 2016 Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids