Thursday, 21 November 2002 - 8:30 AM
Hilton San Francisco Continental Parlor 7 (100)

POLI-260. Uniting New England Tobacco Control and Health Care Advocates for Successful Tobacco Tax Campaigns

Lori J. Fresina, MA, American Cancer Society, New England Division, lori.fresina@cancer.org, Judy Meredith, BSE, Community Catalyst and Health Care for All, meredith@hcfama.org, Judith B. Stephany, Tobacco Control Strategies Group, New England Division, Division Board of Directors, stephany@together.net, Debbie L. Carluccio, Smoke-Free New Hampshire Alliance, debbie@nhlung.org.

Learning Objectives: Describe the 6 essential elements of New Englandís successful multi-state tobacco tax campaign. Understand the value of having tobacco control advocates partner with health care access advocates on a tobacco tax campaign. Diffuse tobacco industry opposition through strategic partnerships and progressive tax campaign outcomes.

Abstract: The target audience for this presentation includes tobacco control coalitions, lobbyists, NGOs and health care access advocates. Several key points will be covered, including the 6 essential elements of a successful multi-state tobacco tax campaign; the importance of linking tobacco control and health care access movements for long-term sustainability and diversity; and how this approach can effectively dismantle tobacco industry opposition.

These conclusions evolved during the last two years of the Alliance for a Healthy New Englandís tobacco tax campaign which began as a collaboration between the American Cancer Societyís New England Division, Community Catalyst, a national healthcare access organization, and the Council of New England State Medical Societies.

The purpose of this effort was threefold: 1) to lower smoking rates in each New England state by raising the state excise tax by at least 50-cents per pack; 2) to secure or maintain funding for a statewide tobacco control program funded within CDC guidelines, and; 3) to use tax revenues to expand access to health-related programs in response to stateís most urgent needs.

At the time of this submission, three of the six New England states (CT, ME & RI) have successfully increased their tobacco taxes and it is possible that two more states (MA & VT) will have passed substantial increases before July 2002. The final state (NH) is laying the foundation to pursue a $1 increase in the 2003.

This presentation will speak to the challenges and advantages of a multi-state tobacco tax campaign that engages non-traditional partners.


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