What appears to have become a pattern, the state of New Jersey for the 5th straight year will spend exactly zero dollars in the effort to stop smoking. This means there is zero money spent on making commercials to stop kids from smoking, or zero dollars spent on programs designed to help smokers kick their habit.
Ranking Last is a Bad Thing
Make no mistake about it, in this particular effort, last is not a good thing. According to the Tobacco Free Kids Campaign, New Jersey ranks dead last in efforts to help curb or stop smoking in the state. That means no commercials aimed at teenagers showing the deadly effects of smoking, no aggressive promotion of programs to help smokers finally kick the habit, no effort at all to reduce the number of people dying in the state each year from lung disease associated with smoking.
The Big Contradiction
One of the reasons the state of new jersey is getting so much attention on their lack of efforts to help curb smoking, they still have their hand out accepting $944.5 million in revenues and taxes from the big tobacco companies. It appears the state knows a good thing when it sees it, and curbing the smokers would only kill the gravy train of cash being pumped somewhere into the system. Until the money is audited and every dollar accounted for, this appears to have no end in sight.
According to New Jersey state health department officials, the state does have smoking prevention programs, but they are currently being funded by the federal government. So where is all that $944 million dollars being spent, no one appears to have a clear answer. Those looking for answers argue that the state of New Jersey all all its public officials are both putting people’s lives at risk while at the same time putting the burden on the taxpayer by refusing to adequately fund cigarette prevention programs which are designed to save health care dollars.
New Jersey spent millions upon millions of dollars recently in the BridgeGate trial, which appeared to be nothing more than a waste of time for taxpayers and only the lawyers seemed to be the ones who benefited. Until New Jersey takes a more proactive approach with smoking campaigns, it will continue to funnel in revenues at an alarming rate.