Maryland is putting its tobacco money to good use
"Today in Maryland, 66 people will discover they have cancer, 28 people will die of cancer and 59 children will start to smoke."
-- Gov. Parris N. Glendening
WITH these words, Mr. Glendening began an historic speech at the University of Maryland Medical Center on June 3. His remarks were a call to arms for our state to fight tobacco use, make breaththroughs in cancer treatment and research, and end tobacco farming.
Sadly, many states are squandering the unprecedented opportunity created by the tobacco settlement. From new sidewalks in Los Angeles, to flood control projects in North Dakota or reduced automobile taxes in Rhode Island, they have missed the point.
Only four states have made more than minimal commitments to smoking prevention and cessation programs, though the federal Centers for Disease Control recently proposed a model program for states.
Fortunately for Marylanders, Mr. Glendening, with support from the legislature, has chosen to do the right thing with Maryland's tobacco money: spend $1 billion over the next decade to expand the battle against tobacco.