- Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - For the fifth straight year, New Jersey will spend no state dollars on initiatives aimed at discouraging kids from using tobacco products or helping smokers kick the habit.

NJ.com reports (http://bit.ly/2hI8A7Y ) the Tobacco Free Kids Campaign ranked New Jersey last in the nation for its efforts to curb smoking in the public health advocacy organization’s most recently issued report.

The state, however, will still accept $944.5 million in taxes and revenue from a 1998 settlement with the big tobacco companies.

Campaign president Matthew Myers says New Jersey is both putting lives at risk and costing taxpayers by refusing to fund tobacco prevention programs that save health care dollars.

State health department officials say New Jersey does have smoking prevention and cessation programs, but they are funded by the federal government.

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Information from: NJ.com, http://www.nj.com

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