By David Madden
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — An arm of the American Cancer Society has issued a new report on how states across the country are doing in getting people to quit smoking. And New Jersey’s not doing so well, at least when it comes to putting up money for the effort.
The agency’s Cancer Action Network rated each state on how much of their money is spent on smoking cessation programs, based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control. New Jersey Advocacy Director Ethan Hasbrouck says the Garden State came in dead last in this year’s report.
“New Jersey reaps in nearly a billion dollars in revenue from tobacco annually,” Hasbrouck says, “but spends nothing to help smokers quit.”
Actually, they do spend $2.5 million in federal money, but not a dime of that billion in state money.
The nation as a whole only sets aside 2% of tobacco taxes and court settlement funds on programs to get people to quit.
States are drastically cutting their budgets in this economy, and these programs have fallen victim to those cuts, which Hasbrouck seeks to reverse.
Pennsylvania spends $14 million in state money and ranks 28th in the report.