Tobacco Money Goes to Health Care
More than half of the tobacco settlement money that states have planned to use is earmarked for health care services, a new report says, but an anti-smoking group said too little is going to programs to keep people from starting the habit.
Twenty-nine states have not decided how they will spend the money from the historic settlement with cigarette makers. The other 21 have authorized the use of $1.3 billion.
Of that, about 10 percent has been earmarked for tobacco-control and smoking-cessation initiatives, drawing the ire of an organization that has been lobbying states to spend more on such programs.
"We have a problem with the fact that not nearly enough of the money is being spent on what it was intended for in the first place, which is using tobacco money to fix the tobacco problem,'' said Bill Novelli, president of the Washington-based Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
Twenty-nine states have not decided how they will spend the money from the historic settlement with cigarette makers.