Debate and Issues Archive

draft settlement

Surgeon General Supports Settlement Funds For Tobacco Control Programs

U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post urging states to spend a portion of their tobacco settlement money on comprehensive tobacco control programs (see full story).

He wrote: "The single most promising public health intervention today is not the development of a new drug but the opportunity to invest part of the recent $246 billion settlement with the tobacco companies into public health and proven programs that would prevent our nation's children from smoking...

I believe a great achievement is possible if Congress and the states work together to commit some of these resources to effective programs that will prevent millions of our children from becoming victims of tobacco-related diseases.

...With money in hand, states now have the necessary resources to launch a comprehensive, effective public health program against tobacco. Successful models of statewide programs exist in Massachusetts, California and other states; we know what programs work...

[T]here can be no greater priority to public health, community health or family health in this country than ensuring a robust and comprehensive tobacco control program in every state."

David Satcher, "Save The Kids, Fight Tobacco," WASHINGTON POST, May 25, 1999, p. A15.