LETTERS: Use tobacco settlement dollars to save children

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JUDITH KELLER, EXEC DIRECTOR OF AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION OF KANSAS
Many needs and many suggestions about how to spend the tobacco

settlement in Kansas have surfaced. And, nothing mobilizes an
interest

group more than the hope of money for its heartfelt interest.



In Kansas, there has been some general agreement that at least
some of

the tobacco settlement should be used to help children.



But the definition of both ?children? and ?help? runs a gamut from

Internet service in schools to early childhood education.



While admitting that we, too, have a special interest in the
tobacco

settlement dollars, the American Lung Association of Kansas does
not

ask nor expect any money from the settlement for its own programs.



What we want is to see that a significant portion of the
settlement is

used for the purposes for which the suit was originally filed?to

reduce the death and disease, and the medical expenses these
cause, of

present and potential victims of tobacco.



We have an opportunity to inoculate our children against their
early

death and certain disease if they should consider tobacco. We can
do

this by helping them chose not to use tobacco.



Using tobacco settlement dollars, Kansas can put in place the very

community and school-based programs and anti-tobacco
advertisements

that have been proven effective in California, Florida, Oregon and

Massachusetts.



These programs work. They can assure a healthier future for our

children.



Let your legislator know that tobacco prevention programs are the
best

use for a substantial portion of the tobacco settlem

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