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)
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.

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