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,, Judy Meredith, BSE, Community Catalyst and Health Care for All,, Judith B. Stephany, Tobacco Control Strategies Group, New England Division, Division Board of Directors,, Debbie L. Carluccio, Smoke-Free New Hampshire Alliance,

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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