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Report: California Skimping On Spending For Tobacco Prevention

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Tobacco Settlement Spending In San Diego County

San Diego County Board of Supervisors current policy on Tobacco Use, Prevention and Cessation

It's been 15 years since most U.S. states agreed to a more than $264 billion settlement with the big tobacco companies to recover health care costs.

Many people figured that would be enough to help smokers who wanted to quit, and deter the next generation from picking up a smoking habit. But a group of public health organizations finds that in California, tobacco prevention programs are getting a very small cut of that large pot of money.

A report published Monday by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids found only 14 percent of the amount recommended by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is spent on the state's tobacco prevention and cessation programs; Only $64.8 million of the CDC-recommended $441.9 million will be spent this year in California.

By contrast, the report found that the tobacco industry spends $583 million on in-state marketing each year.

“It is public health malpractice that the states are spending so little on tobacco prevention programs despite having so much evidence that these programs work to save lives and save money,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in a press release.

“To win the fight against tobacco, elected officials at all levels must step up efforts to implement proven solutions, including well-funded tobacco prevention programs,” Myers said.

We invited a representative from San Diego County to join the conversation, but no one was available.

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