Legislature should fund programs to combat tobacco use
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 14, 2007
As the Alabama Legislature convenes for its 2007 session, one of its priorities should be to combat tobacco use by adequately funding programs to prevent kids from smoking and to help smokers quit.
This need is especially urgent in light of recent headlines reminding us that the tobacco industry continues to do everything it can to addict children and prevent smokers from quitting.
In August, a U.S. District Judge found that the major cigarette companies have defrauded the American people by lying for decades about the health risks of smoking and their marketing to children, and that this wrongdoing continues today.
Later in August, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health released a study finding that cigarette manufacturers secretly and significantly increased the levels of nicotine in cigarette smoke between 1998 and 2004.
These actions show why it is so important that Alabama adequately fund programs to prevent kids from smoking and to help smokers quit, as our leaders promised to do at the time of the 1998 tobacco settlement.