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In terms of dollars invested in anti-smoking programs, Missouri ranks near the bottom'that's according to a new national report from a coalition of anti-smoking groups.
One of those groups, campaign for tobacco-free kids is calling Missouri one of the most disappointing states.
Pete Fischer, assistant director for advocacy with the group explains how Missouri earned that label.
Missouri lawmakers and the governor's office defend the elimination of funds to anti-smoking programs.
Chris Kelly, spokesperson for Governor Bob Holden says in tight budget times, everyone has to make choices.
But tough budget times in some other states didn't result in smoking cessation efforts being cut.
Fisher says other states know that investing in anti-smoking programs will save money in the future.
While a few other states may have maintained funding for anti-smoking programs, Chris Kelly says they may be worse financially than Missouri.
She says the governor made the tough decision to cut funding for smoking cessation programs to save other important state services in the short term.
Despite the debate over what was or was not done in the state budget, fisher says there's a chance for voters to intervene.
He says this fall, Missouri voters will have the chance to restore funding for smoking cessation program.
A spokesman for the secretary of state's office says it's likely the proposed tax increase on cigarettes will be on the November ballot but he says final verification of signatures on the initiative petition is not yet complete.