New Jersey Ranks 51 in Protecting Kids from Smoking
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has placed New Jersey at the end in the rating of American states which work to protect kids from smoking and tobacco use. It means that New Jersey shows very bad results in protecting kids from smoking and experts do recommend state authorities to reconsider using funds from the 1998 Tobacco Settlement to reestablish the state’s comprehensive Tobacco Control Program, which was removed in 2009.
According to Jill M.Williams, who is professor of psychiatry and chief of addiction psychiatry at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, though New Jersey receives funds from the Tobacco Settlement and gains tobacco-generated revenue of more than $947 million in Fiscal Year 2014, it spends nothing to support tobacco prevention and treatment programs.
Data from other states showed that prevention and treatment programs help to save money on healthcare expenses related to smoking such as lung cancer and heart attacks.
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids representatives say that in New Jersey each year healthcare costs related to smoking are $317 billion, $967 million of which is covered by the state Medicaid program. To note that Medicaid program offers primary health insurance for people with mental diseases in the USA.
In New Jersey there exist great health differences. It was found that highest smoking rates are registered among poor people and those with menthal disorders. Authorities ignore the need to provide most vulnerable groups with smoking cessation programs and this leads to a number of diseases in them and increase of healthcare costs.
In March 2014 the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry published an article where was highlighted the need for collaborative efforts in treating tobacco addiction. In order to improve education and access to quit smoking programs mental health services should work in collaboration with government-sponsored tobacco control programs.
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