BLOOMINGTON — Indiana is losing millions of dollars in health funding because of how it uses money from the 1998 tobacco settlement.
A recent report ranks the state 50th in per-capita funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration in 2013.
Sen. Mark Stoops of Bloomington tells The Herald-Times that Indiana was supposed to use settlement money primarily to prevent tobacco use. Instead, the state spends just $5.8 million a year on such programs. That's about 7 percent of the amount recommended by the CDC.
Indiana's high smoking rate contributes to its persistent rank near the bottom nationally in the health of its residents. A 2011 state report found more than a fourth of the state's adults smoke.