The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced an $8 million grant to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in support of a new three-year advocacy initiative to accelerate progress in reducing tobacco use.
The initiative will focus on policy reforms at the local, state, and federal levels to prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit, and protect all Americans from secondhand smoke. The grant also includes $2 million to match commitments from the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association for state and local efforts to reduce tobacco use.
Although the nation has made significant progress in reducing smoking since the first surgeon general's report on tobacco was issued in 1964, tobacco still kills roughly 443,000 Americans every year and costs the nation about $100 billion in healthcare expenditures annually. To help remedy the situation, the initiative will work to encourage the implementation of evidence-based measures that reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, such as increasing the price of tobacco products through higher tobacco taxes, implementing smoke-free laws that apply to all workplaces and public places, funding smoking-prevention programs, and developing innovative strategies and new collaborations to accelerate progress across all these fronts.
"We know how to win the fight against tobacco, and this initiative will provide critical resources to help us do so," said Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids president Matthew L. Myers. "It will also support efforts to remind all Americans, including policy makers, that tobacco remains the nation's number one cause of preventable death. We're excited to work with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, American Cancer Society, and American Heart Association, and hope this initiative will attract new partners to help us create a tobacco-free future for all kids."