The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, applauds the Connecticut state legislature for recently passing substantial and sustained funding for tobacco control programs. The final state budget includes $12 M annual funding for educating about the harms of tobacco use, to help prevent youth from starting down the path of tobacco addiction and related disease, and to help our friends, neighbors, and loved ones to quit tobacco use. The bill was signed this week by the Governor.
“We commend the Connecticut state legislature for approving the twelve-million-dollar annual funding to educate and to help prevent adults and children from starting to smoke and vape. Connecticut has not funded tobacco control efforts since 2015 and this is an important first step in helping to protect our loved ones and neighbors from the harm of tobacco use” said Jim Williams, the Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association.”
Providing support to help residents quit and keep children from starting is imperative. Each year 4,900 adults dies from their own smoking. Currently, 28.7% of Connecticut high school students use tobacco and 12.1% of adults smoke.
“While the CDC recommends that Connecticut spends $32 million annually on tobacco prevention and cessation, Connecticut has spent less than that in the past 20 years, continued Jim Williams. “By passing this legislation, we are on our way to impacting lives and providing the resources needed to end tobacco use in Connecticut. The American Heart Association is committed to saving lives and preventing heart disease and stroke disability.“
Tobacco use is a leading cause of preventable disease and death and a major risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack, heart failure and stroke. While cigarette smoking rates have decreased in recent years, the number of children and young people using new forms of tobacco, such as e-cigarettes, has skyrocketed, placing decades of progress at risk.
For information on the risks of smoking and smoking cessation, go to heart.org/smoking.