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Indiana losing health funding over tobacco use

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 8:13 am

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.