Tobacco accord to aid health Glendening to use $1.7 billion to fight cancer, smoking; `Industry's blood money'; Md.'s share from suit also will help farmers convert to other crops

By Greg Garland Baltimore Sun Staff June 4, 1999

Health efforts The state will use funds from the national tobacco lawsuit settlement to devote $100 million a year for 10 years to fight cancer and smoking. Annually, the money will be divided this way, Gov. Parris N. Glendening announced yesterday:

$8.35 million to help Maryland farmers convert tobacco crops.

$30 million for anti-smoking campaigns.

$10 million for anti-addiction programs.

$50 million for cancer research.

Vowing to make Maryland a national leader in anti-smoking efforts and cancer prevention, treatment and research, Gov. Parris N. Glendening unveiled plans yesterday for spending $1.7 billion from the state's tobacco settlement over the next decade.

Glendening said $1 billion will be spent on cancer research, an anti-smoking campaign, substance abuse treatment and similar programs; $700 million will go to education spending between 2001 and 2010.

The governor announced the spending plan before a packed auditorium at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, drawing applause from university staffers, anti-smoking activists, legislators and others.

The plan deals only with the $1.7 billion the state expects to get during the first 10 years of the tobacco settlement. The full settlement calls for a $4 billion payment from tobacco companies over 25 years.

Glendening noted that other states have proposed using their tobacco settlements to do such things as renovating morgues, eliminating some taxes or distributing the money to local governments to spend on sidewalk repairs or other projects.

Maryland is taking a different path, he said.

"I do not see this as `easy money' to spend foolishly," Glendening said. The settlement pro- vides a unique opportunity to reshape public policy and to "take the tobacco industry's blood money and make Maryland a healthier state for everyone," he said.

The governor's plan calls for spending $50 million a year on cancer research and treatment, $30 million a year on anti-smoking efforts, $10 million on substance abuse programs and $8.35 million a year to help Maryland tobacco farmers convert to other crops.

Referring to the state's relatively high cancer rate, Glendening said he wants to transform Maryland from "being a leading cancer state to being an anti-cancer state."

Richard A. Daynard, a veteran anti-tobacco activist and law professor at Northeastern University in Boston, said Glendening has been one of the nation's most aggressive governors in fighting tobacco use.

`National leadership'

"I think he's leading Maryland into a position of national leadership in this area," said Daynard, chairman of the Tobacco Products Liability Project, a public health advocacy group that encourages lawsuits against tobacco companies. "I think he and everybody in Maryland who supported this initiative can be very proud."

The University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore and the Johns Hopkins University will be among the big beneficiaries of the spending plan for the settlement money, with substantially increased funding for cancer research and prevention programs.

Glendening said the medical center will get $10 million a year over the next 10 years to develop a statewide cancer care network and build "world-class" clinical and research programs, while Johns Hopkins is getting $10 million a year over the next three years to build its cancer research and treatment programs.

Ultimately, the state plans to invest as much as $15 million annually, for 10 years, in each institution, the governor said.

Dr. Sanford A. Stass, director of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, said the money, will be a big help. His school currently has an annual budget of $45 million.

Broader research

"It's a tremendous boost to our ability to expand what we're doing and really develop our research in     a broader manner and translate that research into   the best treatment available," Stass said.

Stass said the center plans to work with community hospitals and doctors around the state to provide the best cancer treatment possible for Maryland residents. It also will focus on supporting "under-served and minority populations" around the state.

The governor's plan to spend $30 million a year on anti-smoking efforts was welcomed by activists who led the fight in the General Assembly this year to increase the state's tax on cigarettes from 36 cents per pack to 66 cents per pack.

"All of us are ecstatic," said Vincent DeMarco, executive director of Maryland Children's Initiative, a coalition that led the tobacco tax fight. He noted that Glendening is proposing to spend more on anti-smoking efforts than the $21 million a year required under the legislation raising tobacco taxes.

Plan is praised

DeMarco said that would do more to reduce tobacco consumption among adults, discourage teens from taking up the habit and cut the number of deaths due to smoking-related illnesses.

"Governor Glendening is Big Tobacco's worst nightmare, not only in Maryland but around the country," DeMarco said.

Glenn E. Schneider, a community organizer with the Smoke Free Maryland Coalition, said Glendening "showed quite a bit of courage in putting in even more money for tobacco use prevention than the legislature required."

Schneider predicted the combination of Maryland's higher tobacco taxes and an aggressive anti-smoking program will reduce tobacco consumption in Maryland more than 30 percent over the next five years.

Glendening said he also will use part of the tobacco settlement -- $8.35 million a year -- to help Maryland tobacco farmers shift "into alternative crops without cutting their purse strings."

The governor noted that tobacco farming in Maryland has been declining. He said 8,000 acres were in tobacco production in Maryland today, compared to 50,000 acres at the end of World War II.

Health care

Glendening said $1.5 million a year will be provided to the Maryland Health Care Foundation over the next 10 years to provide health care for the under-insured and the uninsured.

The tobacco settlement takes effect July 1, and the new funds will be budgeted for fiscal year 2001, which begins July 1, 2000. That budget will be submitted to the General Assembly in January.

Several legislative leaders attended yesterday's news conference at which Glendening proposed his spending plan for the tobacco settlement. House Speaker Caspar R. Taylor Jr., an Allegany Democrat said he believes the plan makes a lot of sense for Maryland, and that is likely to garner widespread support within the General Assembly.

"I think the governor is in total sync with the legislature on the appropriate use of the tobacco settlement money," Taylor said. "I don't see any problem with any of these approaches. The broad outline, I think, is terrific."

Glendening said details on how the $700 million devoted to education will be allocated won't be available until this fall.

Three task forces

The governor also announced he is forming three task forces to develop plans related to the use of the tobacco settlement money. Each is to send recommendations to Glendening by Nov. 1.

The Task Force on Tobacco Crop Conversion will be chaired by Jim Voss, former executive director of the Maryland Farm Service Agency, with state Agriculture Secretary Henry A. Virts as vice chairman.

The Task Force to End Smoking in Maryland will be chaired by Dr. Martin P. Wasserman, former secretary of the state's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), with state Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden, a Baltimore Democrat, as vice chairman.

The Task Force to Conquer Cancer in Maryland will be chaired by Donna Jacobs, Glendening's deputy chief of staff, with DHMH Secretary Dr. Georges Benjamin as vice chairman.


Md. Plan Targets Smoking Glendening Wants $1 Billion Program

By Daniel LeDuc Washington Post Staff Writer June 4, 1999; Page B01

BALTIMORE, June 3—Gov. Parris N. Glendening proposed today that Maryland spend $1 billion over the next decade on cancer research and anti-smoking campaigns -- from television commercials to free nicotine patches -- to make the state the leader in the anti-tobacco movement.

The money would come from the national settlement with cigarette makers, which Glendening (D) declared a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to "take the tobacco industry's blood money and make Maryland a healthier state for everyone."

The announcement was quickly hailed by anti-tobacco activists. They have expressed concern that many states, according to a recent survey, have so far failed to earmark the billions being paid out by the tobacco industry for no-smoking programs.

Glendening, by contrast, outlined plans to spend $300 million over the next decade on anti- smoking efforts such as media campaigns to keep young people from starting to smoke and free Smoke Enders classes and free nicotine patches to help confirmed smokers quit.

He also said the state would try to help stop the very production of tobacco by spending $83.5 million on crop conversion for state farmers, who grow 8,000 acres of tobacco. And he said $100 million would go to anti-addiction programs for other substance abusers.

Half the proposed spending -- $500 million -- would be used for cancer research, with most of the money going to the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University.

Maryland needs to boost the spending because each day, on average, 66 state residents are diagnosed with cancer, 28 people die from cancer, 59 children start to smoke and the state's Medicaid program spends $379,000 to treat cancer patients, said Glendening, whose mother was a smoker and died from lung cancer.

"A decade from now, in 2010, I hope the governor of this state can stand up and start a speech by saying: Today, no Marylander will discover they have cancer. Today, no Marylander will die of cancer. And today, not one child in Maryland will take up smoking," Glendening said.

Glendening detailed his plans at a news conference at the University of Maryland Medical Center, where he was joined by dozens of legislative leaders, health researchers and other state officials.

"No question about it, from the standpoint of a governor's enthusiasm, legislative support and the support of the public health community, Maryland is clearly leading the way right now," said Bill Novelli, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a national group.

Maryland is slated to receive about $4.4 billion over the next 25 years as part of a national settlement with cigarette makers worked out last year. According to state estimates of the payout, Maryland will receive about $1.7 billion of the money over the next 10 years.

In addition to the $1 billion in anti-smoking and cancer research efforts, Glendening called for spending the remaining $700 million on education programs over the next decade and said he would announce details in the fall.

Legally, the governor cannot obligate state spending beyond his four-year term in office, but Glendening and state Democratic legislative leaders said they expect the benefits of anti-smoking efforts to be so dramatic that no future governor would dare cut them.

Future governors are "certainly not going to touch a nickel of the money. The legislature won't let it happen. We're going to see results," said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Thomas L. Bromwell (D-Baltimore County).

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Howard P. Rawlings (D-Baltimore) said he did not anticipate future wrangling over the money.

"This is the most visionary, forward approach in the nation," Rawlings said of the plan.

At least $100 million of the $300 million the governor has proposed spending on anti-smoking programs would be directed at minority communities by working through hospitals, clinics, churches, community organizations and minority-owned businesses. "We all know the tobacco industry targeted this community," Glendening said. "Just look where billboards were located and where advertisements were placed."

For cancer research, the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins each will receive about $25 million a year, more than double what they had requested in state funding annually for cancer research.

Glendening said the two universities would be asked to develop specific research plans for the money. The governor also said he would form three task forces to oversee the programs.

Concentrating the settlement money on anti-tobacco efforts runs counter to what many states are doing with the cash windfall. A recent survey by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids found that more than two-thirds of the states have not made decisions on how to spend the money or had decided not to spend it on anti-tobacco programs.

In California, for example, the state is sharing the money with cities and counties, and Los Angeles is considering using some of its share for new sidewalks. Other states have considered using the money to cut taxes.

Nine states have devoted substantial money to anti-tobacco programs, including Virginia, which is spending 10 percent of its share -- about $13 million annually.

"The difference [in Maryland] is the level of commitment by the governor and lieutenant governor. They're not just slapping together a program. They're going to do a great program," said Eric Gally, a Maryland lobbyist for the American Cancer Society.