Wednesday, 13 December 2017 16:51

New results on tobacco prevention in Maine Featured

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BANGOR - Is Maine doing enough to protect kids from tobacco?

A new study came out looking at how states are doing nearly 20 years after the landmark state tobacco settlement.


The annual report by the campaign for tobacco free kids looked at how states are doing in protecting kids from tobacco. They say most states are getting a failing grade.


Director of state communications and campaign for tobacco free kids John Schachter said "They're collecting billions and millions in tobacco revenue but really not spending very much on tobacco prevention cessation program."


He says Maine is bringing in 196 million in tobacco revenue, but only spending 5.3 million on prevention programs.


"33% that's only 33% of what the CDC recommends what the states spends so that obviously is not enough" said Schachter.


He says the state legislature should increase the funding for the programs so the state could bring the spending up to closer to what the CDC recommends.


"Reach out and reach young people and adults and help them not start smoking, and all those who have started smoking help them quit' said Schachter.


Last year Maine raised the smoking age to 21.


"Protecting that law because I know the governor vetoed it and then overwrote his veto and there's concern that he still might not undercut it" said Schachter.


Youth advocate Adileen Sii says you can see tobacco signs plastered on windows, on the counters, and it's all geared towards young people."They're focusing on electronic cigarettes and flavored cigars" said Sii.


"That's the problem people think that electronic cigarettes they don't realize that that's nicotine products, and young people using them are getting addicted to nicotine and that's not something anybody recommends. We certainly oppose it" said Schachter.


11.2 percent of people in Maine say they are smoking.advocates say focusing on peer to peer education is effective.


"We need youth activist as well as others getting the policy makers to understand that they have a job to do if we want to beat tobacco."


Shonna Narine

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Shonna Narine joined the ABC7 and FOX22 team in August 2017. Originally from Long Island (although she hides her accent for TV) she's excited to see what Maine has to offer.

She graduated from Five Towns College in Dix Hills Long Island where she anchored for their TV Club, and had her own radio show called "All Access Entertainment."

She won an outstanding achievement award and graduated on the dean's list.

Prior to graduation Shonna interned at News12 Long Island.

Shonna comes from a big family. With three older sisters, her parents, and six nieces and nephews there's never a dull moment when she's around them. When she's not working she enjoys working out, dancing, spending time with her fiance, and planning her wedding! Shonna would love to hear if you have any story ideas. You can email her at [email protected].