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Arizona Spending Fraction Of Tobacco Money On Anti-Smoking Programs

Arizona is not spending enough money to prevent children from smoking, according to a report released Monday by a national anti-smoking organization.

The report shows that in 2014, Arizona will collect about $420 million in tobacco sales tax and settlement money from a federal lawsuit with tobacco companies 15 years ago.

Arizona is setting aside nearly $19 million of that money for smoking prevention programs and campaigns. That’s well below the recommended level by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report was published by the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids.

Danny McGoldrick of the organization says compared to other states, Arizona ranks 17 th in funding prevention programs.

“The more you put into these programs, the more you get out of them. So we’re not fully realizing the potential of the dollars that are going to the states when we underfund our program. But it’s great that Arizona is doing better than most, but it could do a lot better," McGoldrick said.

The report shows Arizona will spend slightly more on anti-smoking campaigns in 2014 compared to the year before.

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Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez was a reporter at KJZZ from 2008 to 2015.