Report shows fraction of Hawaii tobacco settlement funds go to anti-smoking efforts

Published: Dec. 8, 2015 at 11:09 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 8, 2015 at 11:35 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii will spend $6.8 million in tobacco settlement funds on anti-smoking campaigns this year.

That's the lowest level in years, and about half what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends.

A new state-by-state report showed Hawaii spent $7.5 million in tobacco settlement funds in fiscal year 2015. In fiscal year 2012, the state spent $10.7 million, the most since fiscal year 2007.

The state is slated to get $170 million in tobacco settlement and revenues fund this fiscal year, and the CDC has recommended that about $13.7 million be spent on anti-smoking marketing efforts.

(With its current funding levels, Hawaii was ranked sixth in the nation for the amount destined for anti-smoking efforts in relation to the amount the CDC recommends.)

Meanwhile, the report estimated that tobacco companies will spend about $27 million on marketing in Hawaii this fiscal year.

Several anti-smoking groups, including the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, collaborated to release the report, which ranks states on how much funding they send to anti-smoking awareness.

The report found:

>> Most states fail to sufficiently fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs. State will get $26 billion from tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes this year, but will spend about 1.8 percent of that on tobacco prevention programs.

>> The $468 million states have budgeted for tobacco prevention is a fraction of the $3.3 billion the CDC recommends.

>> States with well-funded tobacco-prevention programs see positive results.

About 13 percent of Hawaii adults smoke, and 10 percent of high school students do.

To see the full report, click here.

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