Missouri near bottom in anti-tobacco money

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A new report ranks Missouri near the bottom nationally in efforts to discourage smoking.

The report by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids says Missouri’s budget includes $70,788 in state spending for programs to help people quit smoking or prevent them from starting. It says that ranks 50th among all states and the District of Columbia.

The only state ranked worse is New Jersey, where no spending is listed. But the report says the New Jersey figure hasn’t been confirmed by the state health department.

Missouri lawmakers had included an additional $150,000 in state revenues for anti-tobacco initiatives. But Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed that along with various other spending increases.

The report says 22 percent of Missouri adults and 15 percent of high school students smoke tobacco products.

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