Sleazy politicians in most states steal the Tobacco Settlement, taxes, for their general slush fund

❝ Less than 2% of the $26.6 billion collected by states from the tobacco industry settlement or taxes on tobacco products this year will be spent on programs to prevent kids from smoking or help smokers kick the habit, according to an annual report from a coalition of health organizations…

❝ The coalition noted that adult and youth smoking rates continue to decline at an accelerated pace and have fallen to record lows. In 2015, just 15.1% of adults in the U.S. smoked, according to the CDC, compared with 42.4% of adults in 1965.

The analysis, by Michael C. Fiore…credited actions taken by the federal government during the past 8 years for the accelerated pace of the smoking decline.

This success highlights the missed opportunity by state governments to further reduce smoking rates…

❝ “It is extremely disheartening to report that year after year, states have the means to bolster tobacco prevention efforts and save lives, but simply choose to divert their settlement funds elsewhere. … We must continue to push lawmakers to right this wrong and do more to protect lives from the dangers of tobacco,” American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown noted…

During the current fiscal year, $8 billion in state revenues were projected from the landmark tobacco settlement and $18.6 billion from tobacco taxes.

Just two states — North Dakota and Alaska — currently fund tobacco prevention programs at CDC-recommended levels. With the exception of Oklahoma, no other state funded such programs at even half the recommended level…

The theft and abuse of income is truly bipartisan. An historic example of why so many Americans find little of interest from the two old parties at election time. Why should we get excited over progressive promises, creative solutions, from politicians with a history of turning their collective backs on the promises they make to voters.

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