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Ohio Judge Rules Tobacco Settlement Funds Should Be Used as Intended - to Reduce Tobacco Use and Save Lives
Date:8/11/2009

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080918/CFTFKLOGO)

An Ohio judge today delivered an important victory for the state's children and health by ruling that Governor Ted Strickland and the Legislature acted illegally when they sought to take back $230 million in tobacco settlement funds they had placed in an endowment to fund programs to reduce tobacco use. Judge David Fais of the Franklin County, Ohio, Court of Common Pleas issued a permanent injunction on the diversion of funds and ordered that they must be used as intended: to fund programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit. We urge Gov. Strickland not to appeal this ruling and to support the use of these funds for tobacco prevention and cessation.

The Court rightly found that the seizure of the tobacco settlement funds and the reduction or elimination Ohio's highly successful tobacco prevention programs would cause profound harm to the health of the citizens of Ohio. As Judge Fais wrote in his ruling, "Depletion of the Endowment Fund, and discontinuance or reduction of the tobacco prevention and cessation programs funded by the Endowment Fund, would result in a substantial increase in tobacco-related premature death and disease in Ohio, and result in a substantial increase in medical expense for both Ohioans and the state of Ohio for treatment of tobacco-related disease."

We applaud the American Legacy Foundation for their leadership in pursuing this litigation to ensure these tobacco settlement funds are used as intended to prevent children from starting to smoke and help smo
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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