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California Falls Short on Tobacco Prevention


Aired 4/19/09


California has lost its status as one of the nation's leader in tobacco control. A new report says California ranks 31st in the nation in spending on smoking prevention. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.


The report comes from the non-profit group Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. It ranks states based on the percentage of tobacco settlement dollars that goes to smoking prevention.


Pete Fisher is with the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. He says California was a pioneer.


Pete Fisher: They've got the longest running and one of the most successful tobacco control program's in the country. But funding for that was cut significantly back in 2002, and that money has yet to be restored, thus, they've slipped down the rankings.


The state spends just over 77-million dollars on smoking prevention. Federal health officials say tobacco-related illnesses cost the state more than nine-billion dollars annually. 


Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.



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