The American Heart Association and our You’re the Cure advocates and partners made a big win this month!
After years of campaigning to increase funding for tobacco prevention and cessation in the District, our efforts have finally been rewarded. On October 1, 2014, DC Council granted $2 million dollars to the District’s tobacco control program. This has been a long, hard campaign that will save a lot of lives, and is something to be celebrated!
The Need For Funding:
Twenty percent of District residents smoke, and 700 die from tobacco related causes each year.
DC tobacco taxes rake in $35 million dollars annually, yet, as little as three years ago, none of this funding was going towards tobacco prevention and cessation efforts in the District.
The Center for Disease Control recommends that $10.7 million be dedicated to the District’s tobacco control program each year. DC has long lagged far beneath this recommendation. Before the funding increase at the beginning of the month, DC’s tobacco control program did not even have enough funding to adequately support the District’s Quitline.
Although the District is still far from CDC’s recommended $10.7 million, this $2 million increase is a huge leap in that direction.
Shout out to Our Partners and Volunteers:
The American Heart Association has been working to increase budget appropriation for tobacco control for a long time and is thrilled with this recent $2 million appropriaton.
We would like to give a big thanks to our partners who helped us achieve this win:
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
DC Tobacco Free Coalition
We would also like to thank our many You’re the Cure advocates who helped make our campaign a success. Our advocates contributed greatly to the cause by making phone calls, drop-by visits, face-to-face visits, sending letters in the mail, bearing oral testimonies, acting as spokespeople, and putting on rallies.
Thank you! Your efforts have made a world of difference in the success of this campaign.
Hope for the Future:
We are confident that the health department will make the most of the funds it has been given for tobacco prevention and cessation efforts. We, along with our partners, will continue to work diligently to secure the CDC-recommended funding level of $10.7 million. This is the start of great things to come concerning tobacco cessation and prevention efforts in Washington, DC.
(Thank you to Catherine Christiansen for development of this blog post)