Report: Illinois lagging on tobacco prevention funding

Posted: 12/9/2009

From Associated Press:

Illinois ranks 42nd among U.S. states in its funding of tobacco prevention programs.

The report from a coalition of groups released Wednesday says Illinois spends only a fraction of what the federal government recommends.

Tobacco companies agreed in 1998 to settle lawsuits several states brought over smoking-related health care costs. The companies are paying the states about $206 billion over more than two decades.

Illinois this year will collect $857 million from the settlement and tobacco taxes. The reports says the state will spend about 1 percent of it on tobacco prevention.

Gov. Pat Quinn’s office says he has supported a cigarette tax increase in the past and is pursuing federal stimulus money to increase the state’s tobacco prevention efforts.

Original article here