(08/23/2010)
The State of West Virginia is going to spend $200,000 for tobacco prevention, using part of millions of dollars the state received from a tobacco settlement.

The money will be issued at $1,000 increments to West Virginia's youth-led tobacco prevention crews across the state.

Officials say 200 grants for $1,000 will be distributed to qualified individuals and organizations by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the American Lung Association of West Virginia.

The "RAZE" program wants crews from around the state.

Officials are encouraging groups such as boys and girls clubs, youth athletic leagues, faith-based organizations and other community agencies to apply.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that West Virginia spend $27.8 million a year to have an effective, comprehensive tobacco prevention program.

West Virginia currently receives $6.9 million a year for tobacco prevention and cessation, which includes both state and federal funds.

This is 24.7% of the CDC's recommendation and ranks West Virginia 20th among the states in the funding of tobacco prevention programs.

West Virginia's spending on tobacco prevention amounts to 3.9% of the estimated $176 million in tobacco-generated revenue the state collects each year from settlement payments and tobacco taxes.

West Virginia has used much of the settlement money to fill holes in the state's budget.


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