Yes, folks, Mr. Butts, aka “Big Tobacco,” is rebuking the U.S. states for spending so little of the estimated whopping $256 billion tobacco settlement money they’re due to receive over 25 years on anti-smoking efforts. Cartoonist Gary Trudeau illustrates it thusly:
That’s certainly true in Missouri, where in most years virtually NONE of the tobacco settlement money has been spent on such efforts, despite Missouri having received tens of millions of dollars. I recall Republican Matt Blunt, when he was Missouri Governor, did propose a trifling $1 million effort one year, which was rejected by the legislature. (That was better than his Democratic counterpart, incidentally.)
The national group, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, tracks these expenditures and the latest data for Missouri for FY2014 includes the following:
According to this graphic, Missouri received more than $183 million from the settlement in 2014. The CDC recommended that nearly $74 million of that should be spent on tobacco prevention. Missouri actually spent a paltry $76,364, or 0.1% of the recommended amount.
Only 99.9% to go!