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Co-Chairs acknowledge TMSA Coalition health priorities

by Grace H. on Tuesday, March 5, 2013

CONTACTS:
Stephanie Tama-Sweet, 503-828-8448, Stephanie.TamaSweet@heart.org
Christel Allen, 503-851-7473, christel@nwpublicaffairs.com


Co-Chairs acknowledge TMSA Coalition health priorities

In releasing their “Turning Point" budget yesterday, the Co-Chairs of the Joint Ways & Means Committee acknowledged the importance of the tobacco prevention program and children’s physical education by including both on their "priority add-back" list.  It is now up to the Co-Chairs and members of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services to make these investments a reality for Oregon children and families.
 
We recognize the extraordinarily difficult job the co-chairs had in prioritizing funding and preserving services for children and vulnerable Oregonians.  We commend Co-Chair Devlin and Co-Chair Buckley for their commitment to services for children, particularly investment in K-12 Education, early childhood services and health care for Oregon’s children. 
 
What remains unclear, however, is the Legislative Assembly's commitment to following through on a promise made over 15 years ago.  In 1998, under the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, Oregon and 45 other states negotiated with major tobacco companies to recover states' tobacco-related health care costs incurred for decades. Since then Oregon has received more than $1 billion in Tobacco MSA payments and has spent the bulk of that revenue on retiring debt or on non-tobacco-related services.  With the debt retirement now having occurred, Oregon has the opportunity to align public policy with Tobacco MSA goals to prevent and reduce tobacco use, especially among children, and lessen the financial toll of tobacco on our state.
 
We, members of the TMSA Campaign, urge lawmakers to use the $120 million newly available Tobacco MSA funds to lead the way to a healthier Oregon with three investments: dedicate an additional $12 million to the state's tobacco prevention and education efforts; invest $35 million in child health and obesity prevention through increased access to physical education and the expansion of school-based health centers; and, build on Oregon's unique role as a leader in health reform, by investing in proven prevention strategies within coordinated care organizations and local community health initiatives. Specifics on the Tobacco MSA Campaign proposal are attached for your review.
 
TMSA Campaign Members
American Cancer Society Cancer
Action Network
American Heart Association &
American Stroke Association
American Lung Association in Oregon
Campaign for Tobacco--‐Free Kids
Coalition of Local Health Officials
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Northwest Health Foundation
Oregon Medical Association
Oregon Nurses Association
Oregon Primary Care Association
Oregon Public Health Association
Oregon Public Health Institute
Oregon School Based Health Care Network
Physical Education for All Kids (PEAK)
Tobacco Free Coalition of Oregon, Inc.
(TOFCO, Inc.)
Upstream Public Health

About the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement

In 1998, 46 states (including Oregon) and the “Big Four” tobacco companies entered into a legal settlement estimated at $221 billion over the first 25 years, to compensate states for past and future smoking-caused expenditures. The intent was clear: Prevent and reduce tobacco use, especially among children, and lessen the financial toll of tobacco on states. 

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The Master Settlement Agreement. National Association of Attorneys General. 1998.

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