Arizona 17th in anti-smoking efforts for kids

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX (AP) -- A new report shows Arizona is ranked 17th in the nation in its efforts to prevent teens from smoking and help smokers quit the habit.

The report released Thursday by a coalition of health groups looked at efforts across the nation. It held up Florida as a state that has seen its efforts pay off. Just 7 1/2 percent of Florida high school students smoke compared to 14 percent in Arizona.

The study shows Arizona collecting $424 million this year from tobacco taxes and the 1998 settlement with tobacco companies but spending less than 5 percent of that on tobacco prevention programs. The $19 million Arizona spent this year is just a third of that recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report can be found here: www.tobaccofreekids.org/statereport .

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