Thursday, May 24, 2012
States have spent only about 3 percent of the billions they've received in tobacco taxes and legal settlements over the last decade to fund tobacco prevention programs.
A report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says states have collected nearly $244 billion in taxes and settlement money since 1998. That compares with only $8 billion earmarked for state tobacco control efforts and is far less than the $29 billion minimum the CDC said should have been spent over that same period.
States on average have never spent as much the CDC would like. But the total has declined dramatically in recent years as states grapple with budget deficits.
Public health officials say prevention programs are vital to reducing the death and disease caused by tobacco use.