Broad Statewide Coalition Launches Campaign to ''Make Missouri a Healthier Place''.
ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 4, 2002
Increase in tobacco excise tax would fund critical healthcare,
early education and smoking cessation programs
Community leaders and concerned citizens from around Missouri gathered today to announce their support for Proposition A, the Healthy Missouri Initiative, and to call on Missourians across the state to support the campaign to help "make Missouri a healthier place for all."
At a press conference held at the Center for Advanced Medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, civic organizations, child care providers, business leaders, healthcare professionals, senior citizens, moms, and other concerned citizens endorsed Proposition A. They also pledged their support to help pass the tobacco initiative, which will appear on the November 5 ballot.
Proposition A, should it pass will increase access to quality and affordable healthcare, make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors, support research to treat deadly diseases, expand childcare and early childhood education opportunities, and reduce smoking - especially among our children. It will increase the excise tax on cigarettes by 55 cents a pack, and the tax on other tobacco products by 20 percent, raising $342 million annually.
All funding generated will be invested in the Healthy Families Trust Fund, which will be separate from the state budget and only available for these specific, health-related investments. The money will be divided into specific categories that will be used for grants and other funding, with 43 percent going to healthcare treatment and access (including prescription drug assistance for seniors), 29 percent to emergency medical and trauma care, 14 percent to life-science research, 7 percent to smoking prevention, and 7 percent to early child care and education.
"Missourians have a once-in-a-generation opportunity on November 5 to make the state a healthier place for our kids, our seniors, and our families," said Brad Ketcher, spokesperson for Citizens for a Healthy Missouri. "Through an increase in the excise tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products, the Healthy Missouri Initiative will provide $342 million that will be invested directly into health and healthcare in Missouri."
"This initiative has a positive impact on every single person in the state across all geographical, economic and cultural borders. And, we're seeing just as broad support for the measure," said Ketcher. "Citizens for a Healthy Missouri is growing at a rapid pace with more than 50 organizations and individuals already endorsing the campaign. The momentum behind this is effort is phenomenal."
Lori Pickens, CEO of the American Lung Association of Eastern Missouri and Chair of the Missouri Partnership on Smoking or Health said, "Tobacco use is killing our citizens. Each year more than 10,000 Missourians die from tobacco use and nearly 17,000 Missouri children become daily smokers. At the same time, we have one of the lowest tobacco taxes in the nation. It is time to reverse the trends, pass Proposition A, and invest in our future."
The AARP Missouri also endorsed Proposition A. "Proposition A is about making Missouri a healthier place for our seniors," said Norma Collins from AARP Missouri. "Right now, too many of our seniors are having to choose between filling their prescriptions or paying their bills. This initiative will make it easier for senior citizens to access the prescription drugs they need to live. Proposition A really can create a healthier Missouri."
Also at the event, Barbara Hover, a mother of five from Springfield, introduced Moms for Prop A. "As president of the Springfield Council of PTAs, a mother, and someone who has lost family members to smoking-related illnesses, I felt it was important to help organize a group of moms who could do something to improve the health and well-being of our children and grandchildren. It will mean better healthcare, efforts to help keep our kids from smoking, and expanded early childhood and education programs," she said. "I urge my fellow moms from across the state, and everyone who is interested in making Missouri a healthier place for our families, to join our effort and support Proposition A on November 5."
Citizens for a Healthy Missouri is a cross section of healthcare professionals, educators, senior citizens, business and community leaders, and anti-smoking advocates from across the state. Following is a full list of endorsements.
Citizens for Proposition A Endorsements AARP Missouri American Cancer Society American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Missouri Section American College of Physicians, Missouri Chapter American Lung Association of Eastern Missouri American Heart Association, Heartland Affiliate American Society of Internal Medicine, Missouri Chapter Catholic Community Services Citizens for Missouri's Children Civic Council of Greater Kansas City Civic Progress Community Health-in-Partnership Services Cox Health Systems Donald Danforth Plant Science Center Family Care Health Centers Greater St. Louis Obstetrics/Gynecology Society Green County Medical Society Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute Kansas City Gynecological Society Kansas City Society of Ophthalmology & Otolaryngology Lake of the Ozarks Medical Society March of Dimes - Greater Missouri Chapter Metropolitan Congregations United for St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Health Foundation Metropolitan Medical Society of Greater Kansas City Mineral Area Medical Society Missouri Ambulance Association Missouri Academy of Family Physicians Missouri Biotechnology Association Missouri Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics Missouri Chapter, American College of Cardiology Missouri Coalition for Budget & Policy Priorities c/o Catholic Charities Missouri College of Emergency Physicians Missouri Dental Association Missouri Dermatologic Society Missouri Hospital Association Missouri Nurses Association Missouri Partnership on Smoking or Health Missouri Primary Care Association Missouri Psychiatric Society Missouri Society of Anesthesiologists Missouri State Medical Association North Central Missouri Medical Society Nurses for Newborns Older Women's League Pettis County Medical Association St. Charles/Lincoln County Medical Society St. Louis Maternal Child & Family Health Coalition St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society St. Louis Pediatric Society St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association St. Louis Regional Health Commission St. Louis University School of Public Health Springfield Council of PTAs State Street Bank University of Missouri-Columbia, Medical Alumni Organization University of Missouri Nursing Alumni Organization University Physician Associates Webster County Medical Society West Central Medical Society Western Missouri Psychiatric Society
Paid for by Citizens for a Healthy Missouri Committee, Gregory Kleffner, Treasurer
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|Date:||Oct 4, 2002|
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