The Centers for Disease Control says Kentucky and two other states have fallen short in funding tobacco prevention efforts.
The CDC reports the Commonwealth along with South Carolina and Texas were among 13 states that spent less than ten percent of the CDC recommended level for tobacco prevention. The latest data, released last week, is from fiscal year 2011.
Deputy State Budget Director John Hicks says the state legislature sets aside about $2.5 million annually for smoking cessation. "For the last 15 years, in the budget process, the general assembly has pretty much adhered to that original policy intent that was passed in the 2000 session," said Hicks.
Hicks says Kentucky lawmakers distributed money from the tobacco master settlement agreement in various ways. He says 50 percent went to agriculture and rural development, 25 percent to early childhood development, and 25 percent to health care improvement.