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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new report states New Jersey has a long way to go in fixing how it tackles educating children on the effects of tobacco and how it regulates marketing against advertising that might influence them. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids ranks New Jersey 34th in how well it works to prevent tobacco usage in young people.
The advocacy organization works with the goal of reducing how many children nationwide are exposed to tobacco marketing and usage to save lives.
“Tobacco use claims 11,800 New Jersey lives and costs the state over $4 billion in health care bills annually,” the report states.
Throughout the fiscal year of 2018, the Garden State spent $500,000 on efforts on tobacco use prevention. For the fiscal year of 2019, the state will spend significantly more at $7.2 million but even then it will only move up 14 spots from its previous ranking of 48th.
One key finding reported, “New Jersey will collect $919.6 million in revenue this year from the 1998 tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend only 0.8 percent of the money on tobacco prevention programs.”
In 2017, New Jersey officials raised the age of the legal age to smoke tobacco from 19 to 21.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania ranked moderately well in the report at 28, but this is a decline from its previous spot at 26.
Delaware did exceedingly well and came in fifth with a modest spending budget of $6.4 million.