Tag Archives: Missouri

Missouri’s Big Miss: New CDC Report Highlights State Lagging in Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Efforts

 January 30, 2014 – Columbia, MO – Missouri is falling behind when it comes to funding efforts to reduce tobacco use through proven tobacco prevention and cessation programs. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs—2014, an evidence-based guide to help states plan and establish programs to reduce tobacco use, including recommended funding levels for tobacco prevention and cessation efforts.

The CDC recommends that Missouri invest a minimum of $50 million on tobacco control programs.  Last year the state dedicated just $76,000 to help prevent young people from starting to use tobacco and help those already addicted to quit.  Meanwhile, Missourians’ addiction to nicotine is costing taxpayers $2.13 billion in annual health care costs related to smoking.  The state tobacco tax is the lowest in the nation at $0.17.

“Evidence continues to show that investing in tobacco prevention saves lives and money.  This is responsible fiscal policy that guarantees a positive return on investment,” said Traci Kennedy, director of Tobacco Free Missouri. “Helping current smokers quit and preventing young people from ever starting prepares Missouri for a brighter future by reducing the costs of death and disease that currently plague our state.”

Missouri has made positive steps recently in the fight against tobacco with 25 communities protecting employees from secondhand smoke in the workplace through comprehensive smokefree laws.  Yet, use of this toxic and addictive product is still the number one preventable cause of death in the country and in the state.  Research shows there are proven, effective ways to reduce tobacco’s toll by regularly and significantly increasing the price of tobacco, passing comprehensive smoke-free laws and adequately funding tobacco prevention and cessation programs.

Investing in these programs can create real change in Missouri.  Fewer young people are picking up the habit with the high school and middle school smoking rates dropping 4.0% and 14.9% respectively between 2009 – 2013.  With 63% of current smokers intending to quit in the next six months, support for the Missouri Quitline including nicotine replacement therapy like patches and gum, would greatly serve the state.

Tobacco Free Missouri Youth Advisory Board

Students With a Goal display

Students With a Goal display

The mission of the Tobacco Free Missouri Youth Advisory Board (TFMYAB) is to promote healthy lifestyles by advocating for a tobacco-free Missouri, educating youth about the risks of tobacco use, and empowering future generations to be tobacco-free. TFMYAB focuses on developing leadership skills so youth can actively participate in community policy change activities that lead to reduction in smoking and secondhand smoke exposure. Programs that support our mission is Smokebusters, and Students With A Goal. For more information on these and other youth resources visit the Case website.




February 2014

March 2014

April 2014




#MObusiness slider image

#MObusiness kicks off

Business has never been healthier in Missouri, thanks to many restaurants, bars and businesses that are going smokefree. TFM is excited to recognize Missouri’s own hospitality businesses this summer through its #MObusiness hospitality campaign. Join us!

Follow the conversation on Twitter and Facebook, and stay tuned throughout July, August and September for facts, tips and quizzes, as well ways you can help friends and family break the habit.



Missouri Comes in Last, Again

For Immediate Release

11/7/2012-Defeated by a narrow margin, the failure to pass Proposition B secured Missouri’s position as dead last in tobacco control.  The initiative would have raised our lowest-in-the-nation tobacco tax from its current 17 cents to 90 cents. Even with the proposed increase, Missouri would still trail 32 other states with higher taxes.  The national average is $1.49. At the polls, the measure failed by 49.2 percent to 50.8 percent.

“This truly is a disappointment,” remarked Traci Kennedy, Director of Tobacco Free Missouri, “I refuse to believe that Missourians would prefer to protect the interests of Big Tobacco and the bottom line of convenience stores over the interest of our children.”

Tobacco Free Missouri collaborated with Show Me a Brighter Future and supporting partners the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, American Heart Association and many other health and education organizations to move the initiative forward.

“Tobacco Free Missouri and its partnering organizations will continue to push forward to eliminate the burden of tobacco use in our state,” states Kennedy.  Despite the failure of this measure, twenty-one communities in Missouri have implemented comprehensive clean indoor air ordinances with several other coalitions forming to tackle the topic across the state.

Kennedy encourages advocates to continue their work and focus on the health and well-being of all Missourians. “Despite the legislature’s inability to take on Big Tobacco, advocates across the state continue their work at the grassroots level and the results are impressive.”

Tobacco Free Missouri wishes to thank all of the committed volunteers that worked to educate voters about the importance of Proposition B.  Despite this setback, the statewide coalition will continue to move forward looking toward the 2013 legislative session and expanding momentum at the local level.


ABOUT TOBACCO FREE MISSOURI: The mission of Tobacco Free Missouri is to eliminate the health and economic burdens of tobacco in Missouri. Since 2007, Tobacco Free Missouri has worked with its partners to reduce tobacco use and eliminate secondhand smoke exposure for all Missourians through education and policy change. For more information, please visit www.tobaccofreemo.org.