Letter: Fund anti-tobacco programs

Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2001

Alaskans disagree on many issues, but when 84 percent of Alaskans agree on one thing, that is amazing. This time, that one thing is how to spend tobacco settlement money.

Yes, a huge majority of Alaskans favor spending a minimum of 30 percent, $8.1 million, of tobacco settlement funds to prevent kids from starting to smoke and to help smokers quit.

Thanks to the Tobacco Settlement, the lawsuit the state of Alaska settled with tobacco companies in 1998, Alaska receives on average $25 million a year from tobacco companies.

With one voice we encourage the governor and the Legislature to do the right thing and appropriate $8.1 million of settlement funds to tobacco prevention programs. We know these programs will work. We've seen it happen in Oregon, Florida and Massachusetts. Please give Alaska the chance to make it work.

All we're asking is that they use a portion of this money for what the lawsuit intended: To prevent future generations from unnecessary deaths that so many generations of Alaskans have experienced in the past. Please ask the governor and your legislator to do the right thing and fund tobacco programs at $8.1 million with Tobacco Settlement money this year.

Jenny Murray

American Cancer Society

Anchorage



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