Indiana losing health funding over tobacco use

FILE - This Sept. 14, 2005 file photo shows packs of cigarettes in a store in Brunswick, Maine. (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach, File)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Indiana is losing millions of dollars in health funding because of how it uses money from the 1998 tobacco settlement.

A recent report ranks the state 50th in per-capita funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration in 2013.

Sen. Mark Stoops of Bloomington tells The Herald-Times that Indiana was supposed to use settlement money primarily to prevent tobacco use. Instead, the state spends just $5.8 million a year on such programs. That’s about 7 percent of the amount recommended by the CDC.

Indiana’s high smoking rate contributes to its persistent rank near the bottom nationally in the health of its residents. A 2011 state report found more than a fourth of the state’s adults smoke. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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