Just when smoking seemed to be on the ropes, when public health’s Enemy Number One was reeling from new, effective ads paid for with billions of dollars in tobacco settlement money, anti-smoking efforts appear to be sounding retreat. The Heart and Lung Associations, the Cancer Society, and other health advocates are joining forces to say that the states are welshing on agreements to spend a big chunk of the Big Tobacco settlement fighting against the beast that kills untold thousands each year and saps state budgets through a multitude of illnesses.
Welcome to the new economy. Politicians say they are cutting their anti-smoking campaigns, along with roads, schools and homeless shelters, that it’s all painful but all necessary in a tighter economic scene. Forget big tobacco. Anti-smoking advocates are taking on the states.
Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, commissioner, New York City Health Department
William V. Corr, executive vice president, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids