Thursday, December 17, 2009

New report shows Wisconsin is not making good use of tobacco tax revenue

Wisconsin drops to 33 in the nation in funding for tobacco prevention and control for 2010. Next year Wisconsin will only spend 12.6% of the CDC reccomendation for tobacco control. Despite the fact that Wisconsin ranks 5th in the highest cigarette tax, its drops to the bottom in spending on preventing tobacco use.

We all pay over $2 billion in tobacco related illnesses each year, yet Wisconsin legislators failed to allocate funds towards important programs that seek to regulate and control tobacco, but also prevent its use. As we have discussed many times, the Wisconsin legislature was short sighted when they cut funding for this critical public health program by over 50%. Together local, state, and regional partners have gotten the high school smoking rate down to 20.5%. It is likely those trends will reverse if funding is not restored to the program.

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