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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new national report called "Broken Promises to Our Children: A State-by-State Look at the 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 16 Years Later" ranks Hawaii fifth for how it spends tobacco settlement money on prevention programs.
"Prevention is absolutely key," said Jessica Yamauchi, executive director of the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Hawaii.
But the report criticizes the state for cutting funding for tobacco prevention by 30 percent in the past three years. The report goes on to say more of the money Hawaii gets from tobacco companies should go to prevention efforts.
The state Department of Health is limited in how much it can spend.
"The law does stipulate that we cannot spend more than 50 percent of the principal that's there. There is a threshold that we have to watch," said Lola Irvin, DOH Tobacco Settlement Project Manager.