Missouri is doing a lousy job of stopping children from smoking. A coalition of anti-smoking groups, including the American Heart, Lung and Cancer associations, said the state ranks 46th out of 50 in the amount spent on tobacco prevention and cessation efforts.
The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids said in a news release the state should use proceeds from its 1998 tobacco settlement and the state's cigarette tax to fund more than $70 million in programs to discourage smoking.
The group said Missouri spends a little more than $61,000 dollars annually. Eighteen percent of Missouri high school students smoke, and 8,000 Missouri children become smokers each year, according the the coalition.