A board member of the Iowa Tobacco Prevention Alliance is calling on state lawmakers to do more to counter the $90 million per year that tobacco companies are spending on marketing in Iowa. Jeneane Moody says the CDC recommends Iowa spend $30 million per year on anti-tobacco efforts.
“The most we’ve ever invested in tobacco control in a fiscal year is $12.3 million and this year we invested $5.1 million, so we’re well below where we should be with that,” Moody said. Iowa is receiving up to $70 million a year from the tobacco settlement, and according to Moody, more of that money should be used to prevent kids from taking up the habit.
“We know that every dollar we invest in prevention, we get a $5.60 return on investment,” Moody said. “We don’t want to just keep putting our finger in the hole when is comes to cessation, we need to keep kids from starting (smoking) in the first place.”
Moody spoke at a news conference today with Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, who is applauding a new national anti-smoking ad campaign which uses images of celebrities who were photographed smoking cigarettes. The ad identifies each celebrity — such as Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Kiefer Sutherland — as an “unpaid tobacco spokesperson” and states each time such photos are posted online, “big tobacco gets tons of free marketing.” Miller is a board member of the anti-tobacco group “Legacy,” which is sponsoring the ads.