Ya got any proof to that accusation..............thought not!
Anti-tobacco funding gone up in smoke
Already paltry state spending on tobacco cessation and prevention is being cut further -- even though the health and economic case for it is strong.
Editorial. Posted Jan. 2, 2012.
When it comes to tobacco use, there is a problem of willpower. It's not limited to smokers who can't resist the urge for one more cigarette. It also affects state lawmakers, most of whom can't summon the willpower to spend tobacco settlement and tax money on smoking prevention and cessation.
According to a report by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, states in fiscal year 2012 are collecting a near-record $25.6 billion in tobacco-related revenue. That total is a combination of a 1998 court settlement with tobacco companies and taxes on tobacco products.
The American Medical Association and others have pushed for maximizing spending on smoking prevention and cessation. But, as the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids notes, states will spend only 1.8% of tobacco revenues -- or $456.7 million -- on anti-tobacco programs. Worse yet, the spending is on a sharp decline -- down 36% in four years.
No one expects 100% of tobacco settlement and tax money to go toward anti-smoking efforts. But it's shameful that states can only muster up less than 2 cents out of every revenue dollar to fight the No. 1 preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. The campaign's report should wake up state legislators to the idea that anti-tobacco programs must be funded adequately if they want to eliminate tobacco-related health, social and economic consequences.
In areas other than funding, there is some good news to report. States and localities have gone a long way toward restricting where smokers can light up, with laws banning indoor smoking in many public places. And they've made it tougher to buy tobacco by raising taxes on it.
But what state legislators haven't done much is to help those smokers who want to quit. Anti-tobacco funding from the 1998 settlement and tobacco taxes doesn't even come close to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommended goals.
The CDC points out that states need only spend $3.7 billion -- 15% of their tobacco revenues -- to meet its recommended funding level (that's about one-quarter of what tobacco companies spend annually on advertising their products). Instead, states are spending barely more than one-tenth of what they should be spending, the CDC reports.
According to the Nov. 30, 2011, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids report, Alaska and North Dakota are the only states funding tobacco prevention programs at CDC-recommended levels. Only four other states reach half the recommended funding. Meanwhile, 33 states fund less than one-quarter, including four states -- Connecticut, Nevada, New Hampshire and Ohio -- and the District of Columbia, which budgeted nothing in fiscal year 2012 for tobacco cessation and prevention programs.
Some federal money has been available for states to use in anti-tobacco efforts. However, one source of that funding -- the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, known as the stimulus bill -- is drying up, and money for tobacco prevention that was included in the health system reform bill is under threat of being slashed. And even at its maximum, federal funding can't come close to replacing the tobacco revenue states have on hand.
States have argued that their declining budget situations have necessitated spending tobacco revenues on more immediately pressing items. But evidence shows that spending the money on anti-tobacco efforts more than pays for itself -- right away.
For example, a study published Dec. 15, 2011, in the American Journal of Public Health found that between 2000 and 2009 in Washington state, $5 in health costs was saved for every $1 spent by the state on tobacco cessation and prevention. That $5 wasn't projected savings on future health costs -- that benefit was realized immediately. And yet, Washington in fiscal year 2012 cut its anti-tobacco funding to $750,000, or 1.1% of CDC-recommended funding, from $13.4 million, or 19.8% of CDC-recommended funding, in fiscal 2011.
The AMA is urging physicians and state medical societies to be active in educating elected officials on the public health and economic need to fund anti-smoking efforts. Lawmakers must understand the importance of tobacco prevention and cessation programs, and they must summon the political willpower to fund them at adequate levels.
Johnson and Johnson, the makers of Chantix and Nicoderm, fund the bans through their Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Many tax exempt political action committees (charities?) received millions to lobby for smoking bans from the RWJ Foundation. These bans are nothing but clever marketing strategy, with lots of highly publicized "sky is falling" hype
Tobacco control funding sources for "social change" to handle the "tobacco problem"
Here are the Political Action Committees they support.
Since current bans didn't help businesses, now they are being given grants to enforce their bans, admitting that bans don't help business.
The bans are a resounding success, for Pfizer.
An excerpt from an antismoking “advocacy toolkit” (from a Canadian toolkit, but will be very similar around the world). These “toolkits” sport very few, if any, facts. It highlights the tricks/tactics used to contrive appearances – from flooding comments boards with inflammatory rhetoric, to conducting their own “polls”, to giving the appearance of wholesale public support for smoking bans – to manipulate the public and politicians/law-makers:
“For the next few months, strive to ensure there are positive media stories, letters to the editor, etc., that tout how well the bylaw changes are working. There will no doubt be a backlash from smokers in the beginning until they get used to the changes.
In the meantime, you have to counter their negative comments in the media, in comment sections of online news pieces and blogs, on radio call-in shows, etc.
Your job is to make politicians continue to believe that they did the right thing.”
It is not unheard of for councillors to backtrack on their decision and water down legislation.” (p. 48)
SMOKEFREE OUTDOOR PUBLIC SPACES: A COMMUNITY ADVOCACY TOOLKIT
Even if a smoking ban has produced catastrophe, the role of the antismoking activist is to assure the public and law-makers in particular that the ban is a “resounding success”, that even smokers are ecstatic about being further marginalized. It is all activism of the worst kind.
Antismoking activists are – demonstrably – destructive pathological liars. Those that have been given obscene amounts of funding have become professional liars, i.e., propagandists.
Information on how to do propaganda, by the German National Socialist Party, 1920's thru 30's:
Almost everything described in these “how to” manuals pretty much is what the Anti-Smoking Industry has followed to a tee.
For newspaper propaganda back then, the National Socialist Party had a special propaganda guidebook that was kept in secret by all newspaper editors and by following the guidelines in the book, all newspapers could be kept on the same wavelength reinforcing one another and the party.
Nowadays, with modern electronic communications, I imagine the propaganda of the Anti-Smoking Industry can be kept extremely cohesive and repetitively so worldwide and subtly enough to remain undetectable to the casual reading/listening/viewing public.
Since obviously you don't realize what's been happening, the CDC and other federal agencies have been dooling out grant money to city, county, and other local governments that adopt smoking bans, not to mention to anti-smoking coalitions who push for stricter smoking bans. It's been happening in both the Saint Louis area, plus also in the Myrtle Beach area. I'll note that these aren't the only 2 areas of the country where these ban grants have been given to a smoking ban coalition.
Articles proving it's been happening(wasteful grant money being given to anti groups pushing for smoking bans, plus waving financial grants to communities that ultimately decide to ban smoking) in both parts of the country(grant money going to both Tobacco-Free Saint Louis in the Saint Louis area, and Smoke-Free Horry in the Myrtle Beach/Conway area):
Smoke Free Florence used federal dollars for lobbying
FLORENCE, S.C. – A government report confirms that Smoke Free Florence, the organization behind implementing the city’s controversial smoking ordinance in 2011, illegally used funds to lobby local elected officials.
Though disciplinary action was taken, a government watchdog group is demanding the county be barred from receiving federal dollars as a result of the violation.
It began in April of this year when Cause of Action (CoA), an advocacy group located in Washington, D.C., accused Smoke Free Florence of misusing monies from a $6 million grant used in an anti-smoking campaign that assisted with passage of a new smoking ordinance in the county’s largest municipality.
The report, which included roughly 19 months of research, concluded that Smoke Free Florence misused grant monies from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The monies were managed through the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and facilitated through the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and Circle Park Behavioral Center in Florence.
A separate report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office confirmed funds were improperly used, but only had DHEC repay $247.79 in funds deemed misused and required some staff members to attend additional ethics training.
Dan Epstein, CoA executive director, said that isn’t enough, not by a long shot.
“Ultimately, what needs to be happening on behalf of the taxpayers is (that) Florence County, South Carolina, can never receive another federal dollar ever again until it shows it has proof of concepts for ensuring that federal funds aren’t misused,” he said.
Epstein and the CoA report point to documentation – personal emails and meeting minutes for the most part – that it obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests that show DHEC staff lobbying members of the Florence City Council to support a smoking ordinance. It shows that they attempted to manipulate meeting minutes to, Epstein said, mask their involvement in influencing the passage of the ordinance.
At the heart of the CoA report lie a series of emails among Smoke Free coalition volunteers and DHEC employees attempting to sway the votes of two Florence city councilmen, Glynn Willis and Buddy Brand, to support the ordinance. One email from Lori Phillips, a DHEC employee, recounts a conversation between herself and Florence City Councilwoman Octavia Williams-Blake – a Democrat and the smoking ordinance’s chief proponent – in which she said possible political ramifications and re-election implications for the two Republican councilmembers was keeping them from supporting the measure.
“I asked Octavia what we could do to help make up Glynn and Buddy’s minds,” Phillips wrote in the email. “She said that the arguments about this being non-Republican hit home with them and they are about getting re-elected. She said they need to know that a large section of the residents in the City of Florence want this. I shared that we will have poll results to back this up.”
Other emails discuss political strategy and show Phillips, as well as other DHEC employees, strategizing ways to convince Willis and Brand. The two councilmen later faced criticism from the Florence County’s Republican Party for their eventual support of the ordinance.
What’s more, the report show that Phillips, as well as another DHEC consultant, Ian Hamilton, advocated minutes of Smoke Free Florence meetings be changed and that certain details about DHEC’s involvement be removed. Officials with Circle Park Behavioral Center, who served as a fiscal agent to disperse the grant funds from DHEC to implement the coalition program itself, confirmed that they had issued a complaint to DHEC regarding this incident. They said that the meeting minutes were not altered.
Williams-Blake said she wasn’t surprised that a group like CoA had filed a report related to the smoking ordinance. The source of much controversy communitywide, stemming mostly from conservative activists claiming the move violated civil liberties, Florence’s smoking ordinance debate was always a hot-button issue.
With regards to her interaction with Phillips and other members of the coalition, Williams-Blake acknowledged that she was contacted by the group several times to discuss the ordinance.
“It was always sort of talking about where we were at in the process of voting or did I think it was going to pass,” she said.
Shortly after the CoA report was issued, the CDC launched its own investigation into Florence County and others named in the report. They concluded that lobbying had in fact occurred in violation of the CDC’s lobbying guidelines, resulting in DHEC refunding the $247.79 related to “planning activities,” according a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Staff members were also required to receive additional training on lobbying restrictions under the CDC’s guidelines.
“At the time of the event discussed, DHEC responded to the CDC’s inquiry, and DHEC agreed to follow CDC’s recommended remedies,” a statement issued by DHEC said. “CDC requested two remedies, both of which were completed, with follow-up sent to CDC in June of 2011. Furthermore, DHEC prohibits lobbying activity by employees in their official capacity.”
A CoA spokesperson said the CDC’s actions “missed the mark” and that harsher action should be taken.
As of Friday, Florence County is still receiving some federal dollars for select grants but other federal dollars are run through the state, according to County Administrator K.G. “Rusty” Smith Jr.
All Comments »
Powered by Foundation
© Copyright 2016,
Charleston City Paper