Tobacco money not funding prevention

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 25, 2006

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Nearly all states have faltered badly when it comes to using their 1998 tobacco settlement money to fund smoking prevention programs, according to a new report, "A Broken Promise to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement Eight Years Later," released by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Heart Assn., American Cancer Society and American Lung Assn.

Only three states -- Colorado, Delaware and Maine -- currently are funding tobacco prevention programs at minimum levels set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the report.

The AMA expressed concern at the report's findings. "Particularly alarming, despite the intent of the tobacco settlement agreement, is that most states are diverting these funds to non-tobacco-related programs," said AMA President William G. Plested III, MD.

Beginning in fiscal year 2008, states will have an opportunity to turn their poor performances around, according to the report, because a little-known provision in the settlement agreement calls for the 46 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories that are part of the settlement to receive "bonus" payments totaling almost $1 billion per year. By allocating these funds to smoking prevention programs, states could improve their performances greatly, the report states.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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