Level Fund Tobacco Control Programs
Dear [Decision Maker],
As your constituent, I urge you to maintain level funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs at $15.5 million in next year's budget. Any cuts to this funding will turn back the progress we have made in tobacco control.
Last year, with the Commonwealth's investment in tobacco prevention and cessation programs: -15,775 people used the Pennsylvania Free Quitline. - More than 2,600 people enrolled in regional tobacco cessation programs. - Almost 10,000 employees were protected by new or strengthened smoke-free worksite policies. - 22,350 residents were newly protected by smoke-free multi-unit housing policies. - 263 parks and playgrounds became tobacco-free, protecting children and their families from secondhand smoke. - Thousands of tobacco retailer compliance checks were conducted including almost 10,000 Act 112 and more than 4,000 FDA tobacco retailer compliance checks.Tobacco use remains the state's number one cause of preventable death, responsible for 22,000 deaths each year in Pennsylvania. Nationwide, e-cigarette use has increased rapidly among youth and is strongly linked to the use of other tobacco products. Clearly now is not the time to decrease funding to programs that prevent kids from using these products and help adults quit.In addition, when tobacco prevention and cessation programs lose funds, smoking increases, and the cost can be significant. In Pennsylvania, smoking is estimated to cost over $6 billion each year in direct healthcare costs, including over $2 billion in Medicaid costs. Pennsylvania experiences over $5.7 billion in productivity losses annually attributable to smoking.
I urge you to put the health of Pennsylvanians first. Fund Pennsylvanian's tobacco prevention and cessation programs at $15.5 million.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]