Spending the state’s tobacco settlement endowment funds

Saturday, August 14th 2004, 5:39 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- More than $4-million in earnings from Oklahoma's tobacco settlement endowment will be used in the next year to help smokers kick the habit.

State officials made the announcement at a news conference Friday.

The endowment fund's board of directors recently certified $3.4-million in investment income for use this fiscal year. The rest is carry-over funding from last year.

State Treasurer Robert Butkin says Oklahoma is the only state with a constitutionally protected endowment to combat tobacco addiction. The endowment currently stands at $168-million.

Oklahoma has one of the highest percentage of smokers in the country. About 600,000 Oklahomans -- or 25% of the adult population -- smoke.