NATIONAL CENTER FOR TOBACCO-FREE OLDER PERSONS
The Center for Social Gerontology 2307 Shelby Avenue Ann Arbor, MI 48103
For Immediate Release: March 5, 2000
For more info Contact: Jim Bergman 734 665-1126 or firstname.lastname@example.org
AGING & TOBACCO CONTROL ADVOCATES SCORE MAJOR VICTORIES IN INDIANA & OHIO IN EARLY 2000
"Portending a trend we hope to see throughout the year 2000, aging and tobacco control advocates have scored major victories in obtaining significant allocations of tobacco settlement funds in Indiana and Ohio in the early weeks of 2000," stated Jim Bergman, head of the National Center for Tobacco-Free Older Persons.
"First in Ohio in mid-February and now in Indiana, the advocacy and well-planned campaigns of both the Aging Network and the Tobacco Control communities have led to substantial appropriations of tobacco settlement funds for tobacco prevention and cessation programs for persons of all ages and for prescription drug programs for older persons," said Bergman.
Capping monthÕs long advocacy efforts by aging, health and tobacco control groups, the Indiana legislature on March 3rd passed legislation which allocates more than $110 million of settlement funds for health-related programs. Among these health programs are allocations of $35 million for tobacco prevention and cessation programs and $20 million for a prescription drug program for older Indianans. These funds will be available starting on July 1, 2000.
Earlier, on Feb. 16th, the Ohio legislature completed work on its plan for spending the settlement funds. The 12 year plan adopted in Ohio calls for about $1.25 billion to be spent over the next 12 years on tobacco prevention and cessation programs, starting with about $30 million in the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2000. The legislation also allocates up to $12 million over the next 12 years for a new prescription drug and emergency health care program for low-income elders; this is just the beginning of what advocates hope will be a much larger program for needy older persons.
"These hard-fought victories for aging and tobacco control advocates came amidst intensive struggles to assure that a significant share of the tobacco settlement funds were spent on tobacco-related problems. These efforts focused on obtaining settlement funds to provide health care for older persons, the victims of decades of tobacco industry efforts to addict Americans to tobacco, and to fund programs to prevent children from starting smoking and to help current smokers, including older persons, to quit smoking," stated Bergman. "We congratulate the advocates in both Ohio and Indiana for their efforts and hope that other states will follow the lead of these two states during the rest of this year."
The National Center for Tobacco-Free Older Persons (NCTFOP) was founded by The Center for Social Gerontology (TCSG) of Ann Arbor, Michigan and is dedicated to redressing and mitigating the physical and emotional harm to older persons caused by the actions of the tobacco industry. The NCTFOP serves as a national advocate and source of information on tobacco and older persons issues, as well as a center for conducting research, education, and training to increase public awareness of the effects of tobacco on older persons and to reduce smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke by older persons. TCSG, founded in 1972, is a non-profit research, training and social policy organization whose mission is to promote the individual autonomy of older persons and advance their well-being in society.
FOR THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE SOURCE OF INFORMATION ON THE USE OF TOBACCO SETTLEMENT FUNDS for older persons and tobacco prevention and cessation programs, go to TCSG's web site at http://www.tcsg.org/tobacco.htm.