Posted: 12/12/2007 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,
Tobacco and kids. A mixture that doesn’t work very well. But can it be prevented? I don’t believe so, but I may be wrong. I think most parents will agree that the best way to teach a kid to do something he’s not supposed to do is to forbid the child from doing it. Kids, and adults as well, have an inherent need to violate the rules. Several years ago, the states sued the tobacco companies and won a historic victory, thereby funding the costs of tobacco related health care and programs to deter smoking and cessation programs.
Bravo for Maine for being one of three states to meet the CDC’s minimum funding recommendations for these programs. So here are the figures:
Amount spent by the tobacco industry for marketing in the state; 66.0 million
Amount collected by Maine from taxes and settlement funds; 229.4 million
Percentage spent of amount collected on prevention; 7.4
Amount spent on tobacco prevention programs by Maine; 16.9 million

If the amount of collected is supposed to be used for prevention and health care related issues, this indicates that 212.5 million dollars is not being spent on prevention. Presumably, the money goes to the medical profession. Clearly, the state isn’t really looking to reduce the level of smoking in Maine’s younger population. The statistics show that teen smoking is down, but is it really? I tend to see more and more young people smoking all the time. And they are becoming more obvious about it lately as well.

I’d like to see a breakdown of where this money is going, and in a public manner, so all of Maine’s taxpayers can see where this money is really going to. Who are the real winners in this battle to prevent smoking? If the medical profession is making 212.5 million dollars a year from the public in the form of taxes, and private industry in the form of lawsuit settlements, why would they want to reduce smoking?
Additionally, how about publicly displaying the poll? Why not give a breakdown of the questions and collection process of the data? Are the statistics showing that teen smoking is down resulting from a yes-no question, or group of question? Have the teens gotten smart enough to say, no, I have not smoked, even though they have? Facts are the basis of accurate evaluation. What are the facts, Ma’am? How about putting those on the table so we Mainers can make a valid and unbiased judgment of the smoking issue? And just so you do have the facts, I am a smoker. I love a good cigar. I haven’t had a cigarette in almost twenty years, but that’s OK, I don’t care for the taste. Too many chemicals in them.
Well, That’s Dan’s Maine view for today. I don’t care if anyone agrees, or disagrees with me, as long as you believe in what you stand for, and your belief stands on factual evidence.

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