CINCINNATI (TDB) -- A new study shows that states are spending just a tiny fraction of $246 billion in tobacco settlement funds on public health programs to prevent smoking in the United States. The report by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids says most states "still fail to fund the prevention programs at minimum levels recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and altogether, the states are providing less that half what the CDC recommended."
The report says Ohio ranks 14th among the 50 states in spending settlement funds on prevention and cessation programs. But the $44.7 million budgeted is just 72% of what the CDC recommends. The report says nearly one-fourth of Ohioans are smokers, and they rack up $4.37 billion a year in medical expenses.