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Ohio judge: Tobacco funds for prevention.

An Ohio judge ruled in August that state Gov. Ted Strickland and the legislature acted illegally when they sought to take back $230 million in tobacco settlement money that had been in an endowment to fund programs to reduce tobacco use.

Judge David Fais of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas issued a permanent injunction on the diversion of tobacco settlement funds and ordered they must be used as intended--to pay for programs designed to keep kids from smoking and to help smokers quit.

Groups such as the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids urged state lawmakers not to appeal the ruling and to use the money to fund such important prevention and cessation programs. In Ohio, tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death and claims 18,500 lives yearly, costing the state $4.37 billion in health care bills.
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Title Annotation:STATES IN BRIEF
Author:Currie, Donya
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Oct 1, 2009
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