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Tobacco fund for tobacco prevention

by Grace H. on Friday, December 7, 2012

American Heart Association advocates have been working with a broad coalition to reduce tobacco use, invest in health care and restore the public’s trust. The coalition aims to dedicate Oregon’s share of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (TMSA) funds on health and prevention.

The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, signed by Oregon and 45 other states in 1998, was designed to help states recover some of the tobacco-related healthcare costs and to prevent people from ever starting to smoke. Unfortunately, in 2002 when the funds began coming into Oregon, the legislature locked up the funds in ten years of debt service and not one dollar of TMSA funds were spent on tobacco prevention.

For the first time in a decade Oregon has a chance to invest TMSA funds towards its intended purpose of preventing tobacco use, improving the health of the people tobacco has made sick, and creating long term savings in our health system. It’s time to use tobacco industry dollars in targeted, proven investments. The coalition is supporting the following proposal – we urge your support and involvement!

Promote healthy lives for our children: Investments in physical activity and other healthy habits will improve our children’s health and future opportunities.

Prevent tobacco use in the first place: Oregon can be a place where children never start smoking and where adult smokers get support they need to quit. By driving down tobacco use, we can begin to bend the unsustainable cost curve of treating tobacco-caused illnesses

Provide proven tools and incentivize innovation in our communities: Achieve healthier outcomes by connecting the medical community with public health and non-profit organizations and encourage innovative programs that have the potential to improve the health of all Oregonians.

Check out recent media hits on the Campaign:

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012121127030

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012311290018&nclick_check=1

Governor’s proposed budget is a step in right direction, but more work is needed to fulfill original intent of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement: http://ow.ly/fSOdJ

Future of Tobacco Settlement Funds Faces Legislature: http://ow.ly/fSOvZ

- Stephanie Tama-Sweet, Oregon Government Relations Director

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