Wisconsin's use of cigarette tax criticized
Little spent to combat smoking, activists say
Anti-smoking activists Tuesday said state government is addicted to cigarette taxes, which soared 85% - to an estimated $253 million a year - in the 1990s, while spending what amounts to only fumes on specifi
Leaders of the Tobacco-Free Wisconsin Coalition said the disparity will continue as revenue from the national tobacco settlement and cigarette taxes grow to about $400 million this year, while some legislators want to spend as little as possible on anti-smoking efforts.
In each of the last two years, state government spent only about $1.4 million directly on anti-smoking programs, and used the rest of the millions in cigarette taxes for other programs, said David Ahrens, executive director of the coalition. However, that figure was disputed by the state's budget director.