Report: High Returns For States Investing In Anti-Tobacco Programs

A new brief from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation estimates the return on states’ investment in anti-tobacco programs, reporting it can be as high as $50 saved for every $1 spent. The foundation projects an annual $200 billion loss resulting from the preventable health problems caused by tobacco, due mostly to increased health care costs and decreased productivity — so states that have invested in strong anti-tobacco programming and legislation, like California and Washington, are seeing significant returns in lower health care expenditures. Despite the economic benefits for states who choose to invest in prevention programs, austerity policies during the current economic recession have left most anti-tobacco initiatives underfunded or facing cuts.