Michigan ranks 45th in protecting children from tobacco, nonprofit report says

WASHINGTON - Michigan ranks 45th nationwide in funding programs that prevent kids from using tobacco and help smokers quit, according to a report released Friday.

The report was released by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights and the Truth Initiative.

The report spotlights the need for stronger tobacco prevention efforts in Michigan and claims tobacco companies spend more than $320 million a year to advertise in Michigan alone, about 200 times more what the state spends on prevention.

"Michigan is putting kids' health at risk and burdening taxpayers with higher tobacco-related health care costs by continuing to shortchange tobacco prevention programs," said Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "We've made great strides in reducing smoking rates, but we cannot let our guard down, as tobacco is still the No. 1 cause of preventable death and e-cigarettes threaten to addict another generation."

States with well-funded, sustained tobacco prevention programs have seen remarkable progress. Florida, which has one of the longest-running programs, has reduced its high school smoking rate to 3.6 percent, one of the lowest rates ever reported by any state.

The full report can be read here.

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