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Tobacco Funds for Tobacco Prevention

by Grace H. on Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Contact your legislators today and urge them to fund tobacco prevention, children's health and wellness initiatives, and health transformation investments to improve Oregon's health.

The monumental Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement between 46 states and the “Big 4” tobacco companies was finalized in 1998. Since then, not one penny of the $1 billion Oregon has received in settlement funds has gone towards tobacco prevention.

For the first time in a decade, we have the opportunity to invest Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement dollars toward the original purpose: compensating Oregon for taxpayer money spent on patients and family members with tobacco-related diseases and reducing tobacco use, with a focus on Oregon’s children.

To fulfill the original intent of the Agreement and create long-term savings in Oregon’s health system, the TMSA Campaign recommends all $120 million settlement funds available in 2013-2015 be allocated to health and wellness efforts.

  • $73 million for Oregon’s health transformation: Investing in health transformation and prevention could leverage up to $120 million in matching federal dollars for coordinated care organizations and community partnerships to reduce tobacco use and improve health outcomes. This is a significant investment in improving health, and reducing health care costs, for Oregon.
  • $35 million for children’s health and wellness: Focusing efforts on our children’s health and wellness will reduce chronic illness, improve mental and oral health, and integrate healthy behaviors.
  • $12 million to reduce smoking in Oregon: According to a recent poll, 85% of Oregon voters favor dedicating at least 10% of Oregon settlement money to tobacco prevention programs. For every $1 spent on tobacco interventions, the State of Oregon realizes a $5 return on investment from reduced tobacco-related costs.

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