Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program
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Each year more than 8,000 Kentuckians die of illnesses caused by tobacco use. Some die of lung cancer, while others fall victim to cardiovascular disease. Annually, Medicaid and Medicare costs exceed an estimated $1.2 billion for treatment of Kentuckians suffering smoking-related diseases and conditions. This equals $300 for each of the four million people living in Kentucky.
To help ease the toll tobacco takes on the health of Kentuckians, the state Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program has adopted the four Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) goals for reducing the negative health effects of tobacco use:
- Preventing the initiation of tobacco use among young people
- Promoting cessation among young people and adults
- Eliminating non-smokers exposure to environmental tobacco smoke
- Identifying and eliminating the disparities related to tobacco and its effects on different population groups
The program mission is to reduce preventable and premature deaths attributed to tobacco use by implementing programs to decrease tobacco use and exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke. This includes local and statewide programs encouraging youth not to use tobacco products and helping those who want to quit in doing so.
These goals are achieved through a community component based in local health departments. This draws on existing infrastructure and strong links between local groups concerned about reducing the health risks and illness associated with tobacco use. To ensure progress toward these goals, a 2008-2013 Tobacco Program Strategic Plan was developed.
Kentucky is one of 46 states to receive funds from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. With these funds and a grant from CDC, staff in the Kentucky Department for Public Health provides ongoing technical support and training for local health departments as well as funding to help achieve specific area goals.