Many states with the highest lung cancer rates are squandering tobacco settlement money on programs that have nothing to do with disease prevention.
That´s according to a study released today by a national anti-cancer group.
Even more alarming — anti-smoking advocates say states with the gravest need for stop-smoking programs often spend the least on them.
Last year, the ten states with the highest lung cancer rates received an average of more than $29 per person in funds from a 1998 settlement with the tobacco industry. The Centers for Disease Control recommended they spend about seven dollars per person on anti-smoking programs.
But the study shows the ten states spent an average of a little less than $2 a person on such programs.
California last year received $22 per person from the settlement but spent just $3.44 on anti-smoking programs.