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Published December 09, 2013, 08:23 PM

North Dakota No. 1 in protecting kids from tobacco

North Dakota is ranked first in the nation in funding programs to prevent kids from smoking and to help smokers quit, according to a report released Monday by a coalition of public health organizations.

North Dakota is ranked first in the nation in funding programs to prevent kids from smoking and to help smokers quit, according to a report released Monday by a coalition of public health organizations.

The state will spend $9.5 million in fiscal year 2014 on tobacco prevention and cessation programs. That’s 102.3 percent of the amount recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Alaska is ranked second, spending $10.1 million, or 94.8 percent of the CDC-recommended amount.

Minnesota is 12th in the nation, spending $21.3 million a year, or 36.4 percent of the funds recommended by CDC.

South Dakota follows at 13th, spending $4 million, or 35.4 percent of the CDC-recommended level.

In North Dakota, a 2008 voter-approved initiative requires the state to fund its tobacco prevention and cessation program at the CDC-recommended level.

North Dakota’s program has seen success. From 2009 to 2011, the state reduced smoking among high school students from 22.4 percent to 19.4 percent.

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