Report: Virginia lacking on tobacco prevention funding

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A group of public health organizations say Virginia isn’t spending enough money on programs to prevent tobacco use. According to a report, states this year will collect $25.6 billion from the national tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes. But they’ll spend less than 2 percent of it on tobacco prevention and cessation programs. The report was released this week by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Cancer Society and several other groups. The report says Virginia is spending $8.5 million on tobacco prevention funding in the current fiscal year. That’s only about 9 percent of the $91.6 million recommended to be spent by federal officials. The groups say states are shortchanging programs that prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit, as well as save lives and health care costs.

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