Report: Oklahoma Not Doing Enough To Prevent Teen Smoking
OKLAHOMA CITY - A national campaign to prevent tobacco use claims Oklahoma is not doing enough to stop kids from smoking.
The criticism is coming from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids inside its latest Broken Promises report.
The report says that Oklahoma is spending less than half the recommended amount of money to prevent kids from smoking.
According to the CDC, states should be spending roughly $42 million. Oklahoma is spending just $19 million.
According to the report, that number is despite the state collecting nearly $390 million from tobacco taxes in the last fiscal year.
Oklahoma has made strides in recent years to decrease the number of teen smokers but is still outpacing the national average with 15 percent of high school students saying they smoke.
That high smoking rates also contributes to Oklahoma's low health rankings and high hospital bills. The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids estimates
Oklahomans spent $1.6 billion in 2017 on medical bills directly related to smoking.
In a statement, a TSET spokesperson said in part... "This year's spending is in line with what Oklahoma has been spending for several years."
No state reaches the CDC's recommended amount of spending to curb smoking.