“Vaping giant JUUL‘s $40 million settlement to the State of North Carolina is welcome, but the State’s anemic commitment to funding tobacco control potentially also played a role in the youth vaping epidemic – it ranks 44th in the nation.
The 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) provides $140 million to NC each year for tobacco cessation and prevention, but in 2020 only $2.2 million was spent on tobacco control – the rest went to the general fund. Kids are paying the price. While youth smoking rates fell the past decade, rising e-cigarette use caused an increase in use of “any tobacco products” to 27.3% in 2019.
Across the country this story is much the same. North Carolina’s JUUL settlement is a bellwether – others are sure to follow. But holding JUUL accountable to address youth vaping is just a start. States must also be held accountable for investing settlement moneys – including MSA funds – into evidence-based programs to prevent and reduce tobacco use.”
Learn more about Vital Strategies’ work in tobacco control.
About Vital Strategies
Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible.