BOSTON (AP) -- Massachusetts is getting poor marks on how much it spends on preventing children from taking up smoking and helping adult smokers quit.
A coalition of groups, including the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, says the state ranks 36th in the nation in funding anti-smoking programs.
Massachusetts currently spends about $4 million on tobacco prevention and cessation programs, a fraction of the $90 million recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The coalition said that translates into less than half a percent of the nearly $945 million Massachusetts will collect this year from a 1998 tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes.
Secretary of Health and Human Services John Polanowicz defended Massachusetts’ anti-smoking programs saying the state has lowered the percentage of young people using tobacco and is always looking for new ways to curb smoking.