URGENT: Protect Tobacco Prevention Dollars!!!

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing to you about an urgent issue – funding for prevention activities, including tobacco control and cessation. NAQC asks you to take action to prevent the elimination of the U.S. Prevention Trust Fund.

The Prevention Trust Fund pays for prevention activities nationwide – at a level of $500M this year, $750M in 2011 and growing steadily to $2B by 2015. Work conducted with this funding is critical to public health. The Prevention Trust Fund provided $5M for state quitline services in fiscal year 2010 and an additional $15M is proposed for state quitlines in fiscal year 2011.

Please see the note and resources below from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. We ask that you let your Senators know all the important work that is being done on tobacco control and cessation in your states, and encourage them to protect the Prevention Trust Fund for its intended purpose.

Please feel free to call or email me if you have any questions.

Warm regards,

Linda
Linda A. Bailey, JD, MHS
President and CEO
North American Quitline Consortium
3030 N. Central Ave., Suite 602
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Ph:  602.279.2719
Fax: 602.279.2740

 

Friends in Tobacco Control:

We really need your help sending the message that prevention money cannot be raided.  Please see the note below, share with contacts throughout your state, and let us know what kind of response you get by e-mailing me at dmcgoldrick@tobaccofreekids.org.

Danny

The Prevention and Public Health Fund that is part of the new health reform law is our best opportunity to increase funding for critical tobacco prevention programs, but this fund is in jeopardy and we need your help to protect it.   A proposed amendment in the Senate eliminates the Prevention and Public Health Fund.  The amendment, sponsored by Senator Mike Johanns of Nebraska, is expected to be the first vote taken in the Senate when it returns after Labor Day.  The amendment eliminates the Prevention and Public Health Fund and uses that money to address a small business issue. Whatever the merits of the small business issue, the Prevention and Public Health Fund should not be eliminated to pay for the cost of any amendment. .

The Prevention and Public Health Fund provides critical funding to our state and local efforts to combat tobacco use.  At least $16 million from the Prevention and Public Health Fund was made available in Fiscal Year 2010 for tobacco prevention and cessation and tobacco control programs will be eligible to compete for an additional $32 million in funding this year.  While Congress is currently deciding how to allocate Prevention Fund money for Fiscal Year 2011 the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved as much as $100 million in additional funding for tobacco prevention and cessation for Fiscal Year 2011 through the Fund.  In addition, state and local tobacco control programs could also be eligible to compete for $220 million in Community Transformation Grants available through the Fund in the coming year. The funds made available through Prevention and Public Health Fund would support tobacco prevention media campaigns, state and community-based programs, and tobacco quitlines which we know are crucial to reducing tobacco use.

It is critical that Senators hear about the Prevention and Public Health Fund while they are in their home states during the August recess.  We urge you to contact your Senators on your own time over the next three weeks and encourage you to urge your local partners to do the same.  Senators need to hear about the important tobacco control work being done in their community and what types of programs are being funded with this money.  Calls to district offices, personal meetings and questions at town meetings could go a long way to helping defeat this amendment. 

Specifically, you can help defeat this amendment by:

1)    Looking up your senator’s in-state office here (click “Home Page” on only your senator’s profile and look for office closest to you and make the call. There is no need to contact representatives, only senators.) 

2)    Sending an email message to their DC office here

3)    Attending any town hall meetings and asking them to not touch the Prevention & Public Health Fund

TALKING POINTS FOR CALLS OR EMAILS TO SENATORS OVER THE NEXT THREE WEEKS:

I oppose the Johanns amendment (#4531) to the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act because it would eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund that is in the health reform law (Affordable Care Act).

Funds from the Prevention Fund are going to our state and local communities and are being used to prevent kids from ever starting to use tobacco products and are helping adults who want to quit.  Reducing tobacco use is a wise investment and will save lives and health care dollars. (Give specific examples of programs in your community if possible.)

We know how to reduce tobacco use and states that have committed the resources have been successful but we need a national effort to make additional progress. 

Regardless of the merits to the small business provisions of the Johanns amendment I oppose it because it would eliminate the Prevention Fund. 

 
Danny McGoldrick
Vice President, Research
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
1400 I Street, NW
Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20005
Phone:  202-296-5469  X3036
Fax:  202-296-5427
dmcgoldrick@tobaccofreekids.org
www.tobaccofreekids.org

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