TN: Senate Budget Vote

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Support tobacco control in this year's budget

Dear [Decision Maker],

As a volunteer for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, and your constituent, I am writing to ask you to support Gov. Lee's $2 million funding for the Department of Health's tobacco prevention and cessation programs in this year's budget.

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in our state. 22.6% of all Tennesseans smoke, including 9.4% of high school students. Lowering tobacco use rates would both dramatically improve the health of Tennesseans and reduce the unnecessary financial burden that tobacco places on taxpayers.

In Tennessee, smoking causes over $2.67 billion in direct health care costs annually, including $823.6 million in TennCare expenses. That means that each Tennessee household pays on average an estimated $1,020 per year in state and federal taxes due to smoking-caused illness.

It just makes dollars and sense. If you want to protect kids and improve public health, support tobacco control funding in this year's budget.

I look forward to hearing from you on this important issue.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]