Iowa advocates are asking for more money to fight tobacco in the wake of a report released today by the U-S Surgeon General. The report says smoking deaths among women have doubled since 1965 — and women now account for 39-percent of smoking deaths. Threase Harms-Hassoun, is the state advocacy director for the Iowa Chapter of the American Cancer Society and Tobacco Free Iowa. This report shows how the tobacco industry has targeted women and girls for decades. She says cigarette makers spend a lot to get Iowans hooked on their product.The tobacco industry spends 55-million dollars a year on advertising in Iowa. Harms-Hassoun says the effort to fight back against tobacco advertising could use more funds.The Centers for Disease Control says Iowa needs 20-point-five million dollars to have a comprehensive counter-marketing program — while the state is spending only about three-point five million. While the state budget is tight, she says the money would come from tobacco settlement funds.Harms-Hassoun says the effort can’t wait as lung cancer is the number one killer among women.
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