Funding of North Carolina tobacco control programs through the Master Settlement Agreement
Changing political and economic forces in 1 tobacco-dependent state, North Carolina, demonstrate how the interplay between these forces and public health priorities has shaped current allocation of Master Settlement Agreement funds. Allocation patterns demonstrate lawmakers’ changing priorities in response to changes in the economic climate; some of the agreement’s funds targeted to tobacco farmers appear to reflect objectives favored by tobacco manufacturers.
Funds earmarked for health have underfunded youth tobacco prevention and tobacco control initiatives, and spending for tobacco farmers in North Carolina has not lived up to the rhetoric that accompanied the original agreement. We discuss the implications of these findings for future partnerships between public health advocates and workers as well as tobacco control strategies.