States are funneling roughly 36% of their 2003 tobacco-settlement funds to health-related services and research, while 47% of the $7.9 billion total allotment is being used to pump up general budgets, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Use of tobacco settlement money for non-health-related purposes has increased sharply; only 29% and 16% of the past two allotments were used for non-health-related purposes, according to the NCSL. All told, states have used more than $17.3 billion for health-related services and biomedical research out of the $39.4 billion in tobacco settlement funds released over the past four years. -- by Julie Piotrowski
Healthcare's share of tobacco funds is shrinking: report
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