Ohio is to collect about $1.2 billion this year from the 1998 national settlement among tobacco companies and states that sued them. Yet almost none of that is scheduled to be used for programs to help Ohioans quit using tobacco.
Instead of using the money for the intended purpose, Ohio, like most other involved states, utilizes the funds to help balance the state budget.
Public health experts say the state should be doing more to help people kick the habit. A few legislators say the answer to providing more money for the purpose is to increase taxes on tobacco products.
Ohioans shouldn't stand for that - not out of any high regard for tobacco companies but because the state already has proved it will not use tax proceeds for the specified purpose.