Tobacco settlement money will never be enough
The tobacco industryâ€™s historic tobacco settlement agreement with 46 states in 1998 provides $206 billion over 25 years. The attorney generals for most states promised to use a significant portion of the settlement money for prevention and treatment of
Even if the money went completely for health care it would not match the related costs of smoking, according to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
Some recent statistics, including information from the American Legacy Foundation, which was created through the 1998 tobacco settlement:
Annual national cost of treating tobacco-related disease is now more than $89 billion. The annual cost in New Hampshire is $340 million, posing a state and federal tax burden of $180 million.
New Hampshire estimates 5,000 children under 18 become new daily smokers each year, that 70,000 children are exposed to secondhand smoke at home, and that 1.2 million packs of cigarettes are illegally sold to children each year. And an estimated 1,700 people die each year from smoking.
999,448 children have become regular smokers in 2000, and 319,823 will eventually die from their addiction. Almost 90 percent of American smokers begin at or before they are 18.
This year 552,200 Americans are expected to die of cancer, more than 1,500 people a day. Smoking results in more than 400,00 deaths each year and almost half of all smokers between the ages of 35 and 69 die prematurely.
The Surgeon General first concluded in 1967 that cigarette smoking is a cause of lung cancer. Since that time, Americans have smoked 17 trillion cigarettes.
Each year, smoking kills more people than AIDS, alcohol, drug abuse, car crashes, murders, suicides and fires combined.