Tobacco control programs save lives and money
Dear [Decision Maker],
As you consider the details of the FY 2020-2021 budget, I urge you to maintain funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs at $14.7 million.
The use of tobacco products remains the nation's number one cause of preventable death. In Pennsylvania, 22,000 deaths are caused by smoking each year. Seventeen percent of adults smoke cigarettes and 27.1% of high school students use electronic cigarettes. Tobacco-related illnesses are expensive and harmful to all of us. In Pennsylvania, smoking is estimated to cost $6.38 billion in direct heath care costs, including $2.07 billion in Medicaid costs. Additionally, Pennsylvania experiences $5.73 billion in productivity losses annually attributable to smoking. Evidence-based, statewide tobacco control programs that are comprehensive, sustained and accountable have been shown to reduce tobacco use rates, as well as tobacco-related diseases and deaths. Research shows that the more states spend on comprehensive tobacco control programs, the greater the reductions in tobacco use. The longer states invest in these programs the greater and quicker the impact. It is imperative that steps are taken to ensure programs remain in place to protect the next generation from a lifetime of addiction. I urge you to support maintaining funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]