The Green Bay Press Gazette got it right when they wrote the following editorial:
The statistics are encouraging: The number of Wisconsin stores caught selling tobacco to minors in an annual random screening dropped from 7.2 percent in 2008 to 5.7 percent this year.
It's the latest success story in a state tobacco control effort that has also seen a 36 percent drop in the number of high-school-age smokers and a 73 percent drop in middle-school smoking, according to SmokeFreeWisconsin.
So why did the state cut these effective antismoking programs, which also include cessation programs?
Educating young people about the dangers of smoking is an ongoing effort. That's why it remains baffling that the state Legislature cut tobacco control programs by 55 percent last summer, even while raising the tax on a pack of cigarettes another 75 cents.
Lawmakers must understand that money raised for a specific purpose has to be applied for that purpose. These are dollars raised, in part, to protect our kids' health, not a big pot of money to be spent as politicians please.
It is still unclear why editorial boards seem to recognize the importance of program funding but the legislature does not!