States Spend Tobacco Settlement Money — But Not On Tobacco Programs

It just goes to show you… A government’s promise is worth about what you’d expect:

U.S. states have not lived up to their commitment to devote a major portion of their huge legal settlement with the tobacco industry a decade ago on anti-smoking efforts, health advocacy groups said on Tuesday.

In the 10 years since the landmark deal, the states have received $79.2 billion of the settlement and another $124.3 billion from tobacco taxes, but have spent only about 3 percent of it — $6.5 billion — on tobacco prevention and cessation programs, the groups said in a report.

No state currently is funding tobacco prevention programs at the levels recommended by the U.S. government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and only nine are funding such efforts at even half the recommended level, according to the report.

You know, if it weren’t for the colossal waste of money, the vilification of an entire industry, and the potential for anti-smoking legislation to continue sweeping the nation, I’d find this pretty funny. Watching the anti-tobacco forces — who have made a living out of getting their way through government force — impaled on the double-cross of their own “friends”, is full of delicious dramatic irony.

It’s almost as funny as the idea that all this lottery money is “for the schools”.