Many States Raid Tobacco Funds For General Needs

What happens to all that tobacco money the states get from the landmark 1998 settlement with the industry?

Public health groups say the bulk of it goes to plug holes in state budgets -- most of which are being clobbered by the recession.

In fact, the groups say states cut tobacco prevention programs more than 15 percent this year and have never spent as much of the settlement money on youth smoking prevention as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would like.

Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia trimmed such spending this year.

Only one state, North Dakota, is meeting its CDC recommendation for the year.

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