States called on to restore anti-smoking funds

MICHAEL GORMLEY Associated Press Published:

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York and other states are slashing spending for anti-smoking programs as they wrestle with budget woes. Yet they acknowledge that the programs reduce the rate of smoking and save money on health care.

A U.S. Surgeon General's report due to be released March 8 will come down hard on states that have cut anti-smoking funds in hard fiscal times.

States are also diverting money from a multibillion-dollar federal settlement with tobacco companies and pouring revenue from cigarette tax hikes back into general funds.