On the 10th anniversary of the $246 billion settlement, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids has done an analysis of where the money's been going.Seems we know the answer:
The group's Danny McGoldrick says only 9 states are funding tobacco prevention programs at even half the recommended federal level.
Illinois, he says, is near the bottom of the list. It ranks 43rd, spending just $9.5 million dollars of its $900 million share of the settlement on smoking prevention programs this year.
"...the states are expected to face significant budget shortfalls in the coming year as a result of the weak economy. The last time the states faced budget shortfalls, they cut funding for tobacco prevention programs by 28 percent between 2002 and 2005. The cutbacks are a major reason why smoking declines subsequently stalled..."Talk about "spreading the wealth." I just hope it's not short-sighted.
Reference: See the full report (pdf).