Thursday, 06 December, 2001

Samantha The Magenta Skunk Says "No Smoking"

I knew that states had tobacco education programs and stop-smoking campaigns, but my discussion today with the Tobacco Evaluation Coordinator of the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention and Control at the Illinois Department of Public Health really opened my eyes.  I don't know the full extent of that office's job, but one part is to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of 94 local agencies presenting programs with names like:

Freedom From Smoking (FFS)
Illinois Smoke-Free Restaurant Recognition Program
Keep a Clear Mind
Kids Cant Buy em Here Campaign
Life Skills Training (LST)
Make Yours a Fresh Start Family
Media Sharp
Model Tobacco Ordinances
National Spit Tobacco Education Program (NSTEP)
Not in Mamas Kitchen
Not on Tobacco (N-O-T)
Operation Storefront
Pathways to Freedom
Project T.N.T. (Towards No Tobacco Use)
Science, Tobacco & You
Smoke Free, Thats Me!
Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU)
The Monster Cigarette or Whats in Secondhand Smoke?
The Tale of Samantha the Magenta Skunk:  Why Smoking Stinks
Tobacco Use Intervention for Oral Health Practitioners

I especially like The Tale of Samantha the Magenta Skunk (you can find anything on the Web).

What continues to strike me as odd is that local, State, and Federal government agencies spend billions of dollars annually to curb tobacco use but at the same time collect billions of dollars in tobacco taxes and give away billions of dollars in tobacco subsidies.  If governments really wanted to reduce tobacco use, don't you think they'd at least stop propping up the farmers and manufacturers?  It's a crazy world.