The Cigarette Restitution Fund is nearly broke thanks to the state of Maryland, which receives an annual payment ranging from $130 million to $150 million, so what gives? Nearly two decades ago, four major tobacco companies had to fork over billions for marketing to children and for freebasing tobacco with ammonia. The tobacco companies all still do it, of course, and the hospitals are still trying to gather funds to treat the teenagers and young adults suffering from lung cancer and the ones who are about to take up smoking because there isn’t enough marketing money to educate them about how dangerous it is. Welcome to America, home of the brave, land of the cigarettes, diet soda, fluoridated water and GMO. It’s the land where smoking prevention gets a tiny slice of billions of dollars, while bureaucrats suck up the rest and pretend to be working towards a “common goal” of preventing cancer. In fact, Anne Arundel Medical Center in Maryland needs about $1 million a year from the county health department to successfully combat smoking, so the state gave them $20,000. Where’s the rest?
Back in 1999, Maryland legislators set up the “Cigarette Restitution Fund” that was signed into law and designed to direct money to programs that combat the health problems cigarette poisons cause, to help with smoking prevention, and to cut down on tobacco farming in Maryland. The Maryland medical center is barely functional and can hardly make a difference with a measly $20k, meanwhile one if five Marylanders are sucking back on cancer sticks all day, waiting to be saved, and waiting, waiting.
What happened to the billions of dollars? No clear guidelines were ever set for spending
Cigarettes cause cancer. Period. Scientists and doctors have known this since the mid-1930s, but the general public and the 45,000,000 American smokers have only known since the late 1960s and 1970s, thanks to the AMA, the American Medical Association, burying the reports and research and continuing to endorse thousands of doctors who bragged about their favorite brands on television and in the Journal of the American Medical Association – a.k.a. JAMA. A large chunk of the money went to cancer screening, a highly questionable “technology” that actually causes cancer itself and often doctors deliver false-positive readings, putting patients through unnecessary stress, surgery, and even dangerous, untested and immune system crippling chemotherapy and radiation drugs.
Maryland’s Anne Arundel County Department of Health took in over $900,000 in 2015 from the Big Tobacco Settlement monies, according to the public information director. How many mammograms (nicknamed “scam-o-grams”) is that? The average cost of one mammogram screening is $100. Divide $900,000 by $100 and you get 9,000 scam-o-grams. Is there ANY benefit at all to these radiation scans? Maybe not. A study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (in 2009), concluded that the “low-dose radiation” from annual mammography screening significantly increases breast cancer risk in women with a genetic or familial predisposition to breast cancer. Another study–a Johns Hopkins study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute warned women that radiation exposure from ANNUAL MAMMOGRAMS could trigger breast malignancies for those with a strong family history of breast and/or ovarian cancers with altered genes BRCA1 or BRCA2.
Causing more cancers with the funds allotted to prevent them
The $20,000 Maryland’s Anne Arundel Medical Center does get goes towards school-based prevention programs and cessation classes, but what do they teach the kids? Do they tell them that cigarettes contain fiberglass in the filters that destroys lung tissue, or that 20,000 MDs lied for 30 years to Americans and told them smoking is good for health and helps with digestion? No, they don’t. Doctors recommend pharmaceuticals that cause more carcinogenic cell activity, depression and thoughts of suicide, like Chantix and Zyban. Plus, half of Maryland‘s funds have gone to Medicaid to cover the costs the state accrued treating people already sick and/or dying from “tobacco-related behaviors.” Does that mean the “Master Settlement” money is paying for chemotherapy, which only yields a miserable average of 2.3% success staving off cancer for five years? Some of these folks are in deep, smoking 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day, getting toxic flu shots, eating GMO and drinking tap water.
Unbelievably, since the Master Settlement Agreement, the state of Maryland has received $2 billion and smoking rates have only decreased six percent. Go figure. Way back during the Great Recession, the money set aside for the Cigarette Restitution Fund was used to balance the Maryland state budget.
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