Massachusetts Cuts Arnold’s Anti-Smoking Effort

A decision by Massachusetts to end its high-profile anti-smoking ad campaign may portend cutbacks in other states that are similarly pressed to trim budgets.

Arnold’s decade-long “Make smoking history” campaign for Massachu- setts, one of the nation’s oldest and best-known anti-smoking initiatives, is going off the air. Already there are indications that broad tobacco-control initiatives in other states could suffer a similar fate.

Arnold’s campaign has been suspended following Gov. Jane Swift’s decision to cut the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s overall $50 million budget by one-third for the current fiscal year ending June 30. About $8 million was earmarked for paid media; $3.5 million had been spent.

“You will not see TV, radio or print ads for the rest of the fiscal year,” said MDPH representative Roseanna Pawelec.

The work helped Arnold secure a portion of the American Legacy Foundation’s national anti-smoking account, which it shares with Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Miami.

In Arizona, funding for an ad campaign from E.B. Lane Marketing Communications, Phoenix, has already been trimmed from $10-15 million to $3-5 million. More cuts could follow due to Gov. Jane Hull’s proposal to trim an additional $10 million from the overall budget for tobacco education and prevention, said Francie Noyes, the governor’s press secretary.

“It’s obviously under siege,” E.B. Lane CEO Beau Lane said of the Arizona program.

In Florida, where CP+B handles anti-smoking ads, the budget has been $5-6 million annually in recent years, down sharply from $20-25 million spent when the program began in 1998.

Marc Boutin, vp of government relations for the American Cancer Society, decried the cuts, maintaining that advertising is the “No. 1 reason people decide to quit [smoking].”

—with Wendy Melillo

and Vincent Coppola