With the Legislature back in session, a group promoting health concerns is calling on lawmakers to spend tobacco settlement funds on tobacco use prevention. The Missouri Partnership on Smoking or Health believes the state must use money from the national tobacco settlement to deal with its intended purposes – treating smoking-caused illnesses and preventing people from taking up the habit. The Partnership’s Wilma Johnson says that while the state has vowed to use much of the tobacco money to deal with budget woes, it’s missing the target and forgetting the reason the state got involved in the lawsuit. Johnson says smoking and its related illnesses are costing the state a small fortune. Johnson insists the state must start using money for its intended purposes if it has any hope of restoring public trust.
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