MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) -- Anti-smoking groups are chiding Tennessee for not doing more to keep the state’s teens from picking up the habit.
In a report released last week, a coalition of health groups ranks Tennessee 45th in the nation for funding stop smoking campaigns.
The report says tobacco companies spend more than $251 million each year in Tennessee to promote tobacco use. By comparison, the coalition says the State of Tennessee spends just $220,000 on stop smoking efforts.
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids spokesman Danny McGoldrick notes that tobacco related disease kills almost 10,000 Tennesseans a year.
“We’re spending over $2 billion a year treating tobacco related disease in Tennessee. So it’s not just a health issue, but it’s also a cost issue.”
McGoldrick says that about one-in-six Tennessee teens smokes already. Seventy-six-hundred more pick up the habit each year.
The anti-smoking coalition partners include Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights.