American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and American Lung Association, Leading Health Agencies Urge Support for Florida Tobacco Control Program at Minimum of $61 Million
Leaders of the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, and American Heart Association today called on the governor and legislature to support the Florida Tobacco Control Program at a minimum of $61 million for FY 2000-2001.
The $61 million represents just 6 percent of all tobacco monies that Florida will receive this year. The three health agencies -- united as the Florida Tri-Agency Coalition on Smoking OR Health -- gathered today at a news conference to offer support for the tobacco control program now in its second full year.
"The Florida Tobacco Control Program has proven that youth smoking can be prevented and lives will be saved," said Bill Blanchard, M.D., president of the American Heart Association, Florida-Puerto Pico Affiliate. "We are urging Gov. Jeb Bush, Secretary of Health, Robert Brooks, and the Florida Legislature to support the program at a level that will increase its momentum and help our youth stay tobacco free."
"Today, 82 Floridians will die of tobacco-related diseases," said Eliza Perry, RN, chairman of the American Cancer Society, Florida Division. "By the end of the year, over 30,000 people in our own state will have lost their lives to devastating illnesses caused by tobacco," she added. "We know that if our children can get out of their teens without becoming addicted to tobacco, it is highly unlikely they will ever become tobacco users. Unfortunately, the tobacco industry knows that too."