Good news, we’re smoking fewer cigarettes

Bad news, some states and territories arranged very expensive loans against the promise of a percentage of the profit from cigarette sales. The cigarette money was a settlement promised to states from a lawsuit against the tobacco industry regarding the health risks of smoking. Ideally the settlement could have been used for public health programs that provided education about the risks of smoking and promoted smoking cessation but the settlement money was provided to states without stipulations about how the money could be used. Higher taxes on the individual purchase of cigarettes may have done more to promote smoking cessation. There was no requirement that the settlement money be used public health programs. [1]

Ironically less purchase of cigarettes has resulted in smaller than expected payments of the settlement money. Lower cigarette profit has left the communities with high interest loans owing more than they receive from the settlement agreement. So should we smoke more cigarettes to help out the places that made bad financial arrangements? – probably not if we care about the health risks of tobacco. The Centers for Disease Control website has links to a variety of resources for smoking cessation both for individuals and for states and health professionals (CDC).

/Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and  the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

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