A smoker's promise?

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids issues regular assessments of states' promise to use tobacco settlement funds - "expected to total $246 billion over 25 years" - to confront the public health problem caused by tobacco use in the U.S. According to Campaign's web site Wednesday, states "are still failing to keep this promise even as they collect record amounts of tobacco-generated revenue from the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes and despite an improvement in the overall financial condition of most states."

Campaign ranked Hawaii in the second level of states which "committed substantial funding for tobacco prevention programs." (The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommended Hawaii spend $10.78 million on tobacco use prevention. Hawaii's actual spending was $5.80 million.) Only four states ranked in the first tier, funding prevention programs meeting CDC's minimum recommendation.

An Associated Press story reports that only Colorado has passed legislation forcing the state to spend tobacco tax or settlement money on prevention programs. The article further writes:
The industry spends $15.4 billion marketing tobacco products, nearly 28 times the amount of state spending on tobacco prevention, the report said. Industry representatives declined to confirm or deny that number.
A Broken Promise to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement Seven Years Later
   Full report, pdf, 1.1MB
   Executive Summary & Key Finding, pdf, 132KB
   State Rankings, pdf, 80KB

See the Campaign's Special Reports page for more related material.

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