RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A new public health report says states have cut funding for tobacco prevention programs 12 percent this year, to the lowest level since 1999.
Funding for tobacco programs has declined dramatically in recent years as states grapple with budget deficits that have forced layoffs, furloughs and cuts for basic services.
States will collect $25.6 billion in tobacco taxes and legal settlements from the tobacco industry this fiscal year. But the report says states will spend just 1.8 percent of that on programs to prevent or stop tobacco use, or $456.7 million. That's far below federally recommended levels for tobacco prevention spending.
The report is by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Cancer Society and several other groups.