Why Georgia Spends So Little of Tobacco Settlement Money on Smoking Prevention

Dec 11, 2012

State House Health and Human Services Committee Chair Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta)
Credit Georgia General Assembly

Since 1998, Georgia has received more than $100 million every year from the settlement of a multi-state lawsuit against the major tobacco companies.  

But the state government actually spends very little of that money on programs to help smokers quit, or avoid smoking in the first place.  Most of the money ends up in the general budget, or in the economic development program called One Georgia.

In December 2011, WABE's Denis O'Hayer explored the reasons for that with Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta), the chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee.  Now, almost exactly a year later, he spoke with her again, and found little has changed.