Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

May 9, 2013

Letters to the Editor: May 9, 2013

Tobacco prevention funds need maintained

More than 1,500 Hoosier children just received an early death sentence from the Indiana Legislature. By slashing the state budget for tobacco prevention and cessation by 38 percent, our lawmakers told us that the health and future of our children isn’t important.

According to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, the loss of $3 million in funding will result in an additional 4,450 Hoosier children growing up to be addicted adult smokers. More than 1,500 of them will die prematurely due to smoking-related illnesses.

It doesn’t have to be that way. In 1998, the federal government ordered tobacco companies to pay states billions of dollars for tobacco prevention as part of the Master Settlement Agreement. That agreement is still in effect and Indiana will reap more than $120 million from that agreement this year alone.

Somehow the politicians have justified skimming $115 million of that money to use for other purposes and allotted a paltry $5 million for tobacco prevention and cessation.

Hard decisions must now be made across the state by those who are helping people quit tobacco and reaching out to our kids to prevent their addiction. Can the free Indiana Quit Line continue to offer its full array of services while there is record demand? Which kids will hear about the dangers of tobacco addiction and which kids won’t?

Sadly, the threat to Hoosier children isn’t the only short-sighted outcome of this budget cut. Studies consistently show that states that aggressively fund tobacco prevention and cessation save money on healthcare costs.

In fact, California saved $56 in healthcare costs for every dollar it invested in tobacco prevention and cessation.

By cutting $3 million from the TPC budget, the state will incur an extra $77.8 million in future healthcare costs, including $12.7 million in Medicaid costs. That’s not a win-win situation.

If a program is funded by outside sources, saves lives and saves money, it should be a no-brainer.

We can’t let this happen again. The lives of our children are too important.

Tobacco Free Indiana coalition members

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • DAY: God trusted us with them Well, you heard about my wife and I, and our families from the past, so it is time for me to tell you about two of the prettiest girls I have ever known. They are our daughters Debbie and Patty. They are the greatest gifts from God that we have had i

    April 19, 2014

  • LoBianco: Bigger ethics questions raised in House Turner review

    Members of the House Ethics Committee who will take up Rep. Eric Turner’s case face daunting tasks as they try to answer two questions: Did their powerful colleague violate any ethics rules in privately lobbying against a measure that would have hurt his family’s business?

    April 18, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor: April 18, 2014

    Attendees at the Tipton County Board of Commissioners meeting April 7 were treated to an appalling lack of both action and concern by the commissioners.

    April 18, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor: April 17, 2014

    On March 20 of this year I attended a public meeting of the Tipton County Economic Development Alliance. Members of this group include the three county commissioners, a member of the county council, two members from the city council, and the mayor.

    April 17, 2014

  • Hicks: Measuring the unmeasurable

    One aspect of economic research I think is especially powerful is the ability to measure or monetize the things that humans clearly value but for which a market price is not necessarily apparent. This is one of the aspects of economic analysis that gives it such dominance over other social sciences.

    April 17, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: Bush presents 'The Art of Leadership'

    On April 5, “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,” opened at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The display, which runs through June 3, boasts “portraits of more than two dozen world leaders” painted by Bush, according to the official literature.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bohanon: ‘Economics is fun’ in Vegas or in Bible study

    I am writing this on an airplane to Las Vegas. I’ll be attending the annual conference of the Association of Private Enterprise Education along with two of my colleagues and six of my students.

    April 16, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor: April 16, 2014

    At the time the agenda for the April 7 commissioner meeting came out, I was happy to see that the neglected commissioner board appointments were finally going to be addressed. These appointments had been in limbo for months on end.

    April 16, 2014

  • Hayden: Want better teacher ratings? Ask the kids

    The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards.
    That was the general consensus of the State Board of Education days after teacher evaluation data were released last week.

    April 15, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor: April 15, 2014

    In a recent “public eye” article written by KT columnist Scott Smith about the proposed industrial wind turbine project; mention was made of the “new deal” brokered by Howard County Commissioners with E.ON.

    April 15, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll