Missouri nearly lost millions of federal dollars, because of its high juvenile smoking rate. Supporters of an anti-juvenile smoking bill say its death this session places those funds in jeopardy. But reality is more complicated. US Senator Bond worked in Washington to keep the federal government from taking the money from state substance abuse and mental health programs. He says if the governor approves a $1-point-2 Million allocation to enhance tobacco enforcement it should satisfy federal requirements. The state seems safe for now, but an aide to Bond expresses surprise state lawmakers have prohibited the use of juveniles in retail tobacco sting operations. He says that could place the funds in jeopardy in future years. Governor Carnahan’s office expresses the same concern. Carnahan spokesman, Jerry Nachtigal, says the budget allocation should satisfy federal officials now, but he adds they aren’t very pleased with the prohibition on using minors in retail stings. To avoid the penalty, Missouri must reduce juvenile smoking. Federal officials say no state has been able to do that without using minors in sting operations.
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