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A Lifetime of Damage: How Big Tobacco’s Predatory Marketing Harms the Health of Women and Girls

May 26, 2021

The tobacco industry has a long history of developing cigarette brands and marketing campaigns that target women and girls, with devastating consequences for women's health. The industry's deliberate and aggressive targeting of women and girls spans a century, utilizing themes of beauty, fashion, freedom and sophistication – and often playing into sexist tropes – while ignoring or downplaying that tobacco use causes serious health harms at all stages of a woman's life.Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and affects a person's overall health. More than 16 million women and girls in the United States currently smoke, putting them at risk for the serious and deadly diseases caused by smoking. Over 200,000 women die in the U.S. every year due to smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. In addition, youth e-cigarette use has skyrocketed to what the U.S. Surgeon General and the Food and Drug Administration have called "epidemic" levels, with nearly 1 in 5 high school girls now using e-cigarettes.This report details the tobacco industry's history of predatory marketing, which has lured and addicted millions of women and girls to tobacco products, and the resulting harmful consequences for women's health that occur over their lifespans. This report demonstrates that strong action is needed now to protect women's health and save lives, and offers proven solutions to prevent young girls from starting to smoke or vape and help all women quit.

Broken Promises to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 15 Years Later

December 9, 2013

On November 23, 1998, 46 states settled their lawsuits against the nation's major tobacco companies to recover tobacco-related health care costs, joining four states -- Mississippi, Texas, Florida and Minnesota -- that had reached earlier, individual settlements. These settlements require the tobacco companies to make annual payments to the states in perpetuity, with total payments estimated at $246 billion over the first 25 years. In addition to the billions of dollars they receive each year from the tobacco settlement, the states collect billions more in tobacco taxes. In the current budget year, Fiscal Year 2014, the states will collect $25 billion in revenue from the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes. Since the 1998 settlement, our public health organizations have issued annual reports assessing whether the states are keeping their promise to use a significant portion of their tobacco dollars to attack the enormous public health problems posed by tobacco use in the United States. Fifteen years after the tobacco settlement, this year's report finds that states continue to spend only a miniscule portion of their tobacco revenues to fight tobacco use. The states have also failed to reverse deep cuts to tobacco prevention and cessation programs that have undermined the nation's efforts to reduce tobacco use.

Broken Promises to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement Fourteen Years Later

December 6, 2012

Since the states settled their lawsuits against the tobacco companies in November 1998, our organizations have issued annual reports assessing whether the states are keeping their promise to use a significant portion of their settlement funds -- expected to total $246 billion over the first 25 years -- to attack the enormous public health problems posed by tobacco use in the United States.In addition to the billions of dollars they receive each year from the tobacco settlement, the states collect billions more in tobacco taxes. In the current budget year, Fiscal Year 2013, the states will collect a record $25.7 billion in revenue from the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes.This year, our report finds that states continue to spend only a miniscule portion of their tobacco revenues to fight tobacco use. The states have also failed to reverse deep cuts to tobacco prevention and cessation programs that have undermined the nation's efforts to reduce tobacco use.Overall conclusions of this year's report include:In Fiscal Year 2013, the states will collect $25.7 billion in revenue from the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend only 1.8 percent of it -- $459.5 million -- on programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit. This means the states are spending less than two cents of every dollar in tobacco revenue to fight tobacco use.States have failed to reverse deep cuts that reduced tobacco prevention funding by 36 percent, or $260.5 million, from FY 2008 to FY 2012. The $459.5 million the states have allocated this year represents essentially flat funding compared to the $456.7 budgeted in FY 2012. It is still far below the $717.2 million spent in fiscal 2008 and the second lowest amount states have spent on tobacco prevention programs since 1999, when they first received tobacco settlement funds.States are falling woefully short of recommended funding levels for tobacco prevention programs set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The $459.5 million the states have budgeted amounts to just 12.4 percent of the $3.7 billion the CDC recommends for all the states combined. It would take less than 15 percent of total state tobacco revenues to fund tobacco prevention programs at CDC-recommended amounts in every state.

A Broken Promise to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 12 Years Later

November 17, 2010

Examines states' fiscal year 2011 funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs against recommended levels, points to the lowest level of funding since 1999 despite rising tobacco revenues, and calls for a federal campaign as well as state action.

Tobacco Taxes: A Win-Win-Win for Cash-Strapped States

February 9, 2010

Argues for raising tobacco taxes by $1 a pack as a win for state budgets, public health, and voter satisfaction. Presents projected benefits by state, including decrease in youth smoking and savings in health care, and poll results showing voter support.

A Broken Promise to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement Eleven Years Later

December 9, 2009

Ranks states on their fiscal year 2010 funding for tobacco prevention programs against recommended levels and examines spending cuts despite rising tobacco-generated revenue. Outlines potential consequences for smoking rates and recommended actions.

Deadly in Pink: Big Tobacco Steps Up Its Targeting of Women and Girls

February 19, 2009

Outlines the tobacco industry's marketing campaigns targeting women and girls, with examples of advertisements and the effects on women's health. Calls for passage of legislation to grant the Food and Drug Administration authority over tobacco products.

A Decade of Broken Promises: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement Ten Years Later

November 18, 2008

Examines state spending on tobacco prevention programs against levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and states' pledges to spend a significant part of the settlement funds on prevention. Discusses challenges, including budget shortfalls.

A Win-Win Solution for Ohio's Health and Economy

April 1, 2008

Highlights the projected fiscal and health effects of raising the tobacco tax to fund both the governor's economic stimulus package and Ohio's tobacco prevention program, instead of funding the stimulus package at the expense of the prevention program.

Big Tobacco's Guinea Pigs: How an Unregulated Industry Experiments on America's Kids and Consumers

February 20, 2008

Details how tobacco companies specifically design products to recruit youth users, create and sustain nicotine addiction, and discourage quitting. Describes new features and their intended effects, and calls for FDA regulation of tobacco products.