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  • ACOEM Joins Coalition in Opposing Funding Cuts for CDC's Office on Smoking and Health


    July 12, 2016

    The Honorable Harold Rogers
    Chairman, Committee on Appropriations
    United States House of Representatives
    Washington, D.C. 20515

    The Honorable Nita Lowey
    Ranking Member, Committee on Appropriations
    United States House of Representatives
    Washington, D.C. 20515

    Dear Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Lowey:

    We are writing to express our strong opposition to the $110 million funding cut in the House FY 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health (OSH). As your Committee moves forward with the bill, we urge you to restore this funding and allocate at least $210 million to OSH, which is the amount Congress enacted for FY 2016. The work that OSH does is critical to ending the tobacco epidemic that takes far too many lives and exacts an enormous financial toll on the nation’s economy.

    While we have made great strides in reducing tobacco use, there is still more work to be done. Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Every year, it kills more than 480,000 Americans and is responsible for an estimated $170 billion in health care costs. Nearly 60 percent of these health care costs are paid by government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

    OSH leads federal efforts to reduce the death and disease caused by tobacco by funding activities that help to prevent youth from starting to use tobacco and help adult tobacco users to quit. For example, OSH funds the highly successful national media campaign, Tips from Former Smokers.

    During a nine week phase of the Tips campaign in 2014, 1.8 million Americans were motivated to make a quit attempt and 104,000 smokers quit. The campaign is highly cost-effective with a cost of just $393 per year of life saved, far below the $50,000 that is an accepted benchmark for cost-effective public health programs. The media campaign continues to generate substantial increases in call volumes to the national quitline number and visits to the associated website. The House’s proposed funding cut would make it virtually impossible for CDC to continue this vital campaign.

    OSH also provides funding to states for quitlines, which provide telephone-based counseling to help tobacco users quit and, in some states, provide tobacco cessation medications. Quitlines greatly increase the chances that a smoker will quit successfully. OSH provides funding and technical assistance to health departments in all states to help maintain and enhance tobacco prevention and cessation programs at the state and community level. OSH also conducts critical research about the prevalence of tobacco use and alerts policy makers about trends in tobacco use such as the recent dramatic increase in e-cigarette use among adolescents.

    Investing in effective tobacco prevention and cessation programs saves lives and reduces health costs from treating tobacco-related diseases. Cuts to OSH funding would lead to more young people using tobacco products, fewer adult tobacco users quitting, more people with tobacco-caused diseases, more premature deaths, and higher future health care costs for treating tobacco-caused disease. As you advance appropriations legislation for FY 2017, we respectfully request that you restore funding for CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health to a minimum of its current $210 million funding level so it can continue its important tobacco prevention and cessation work.

    Sincerely,

    Academy of General Dentistry
    Action on Smoking & Health
    Altarum Institute Center for Prevention
    American Academy of Family Physicians
    American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
    American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery
    American Academy of Pediatrics
    American Association for Cancer Research
    American Association for Dental Research
    American Association for Respiratory Care
    American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
    American College of Cardiology
    American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
    American College of Physicians
    American College of Preventive Medicine
    American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
    American Heart Association
    American Lung Association
    American Medical Association
    American Medical Student Association
    American Psychological Association
    American Public Health Association
    American Society of Clinical Oncology
    American Thoracic Society
    Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights
    Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs
    Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health
    Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
    Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund
    ClearWay Minnesota
    Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
    Eta Sigma Gamma - National Health Education Honorary
    International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
    Lung Cancer Alliance
    March of Dimes
    National African American Tobacco Prevention Network
    National Association of County and City Health Officials
    National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
    National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors
    National Network of Public Health Institutes
    North American Quitline Consortium
    Oncology Nursing Society
    Oral Health America
    Prevention Institute
    Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions
    The Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education
    Trust for America’s Health