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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 26, 2008 at 5:24 PM

Tobacco-settlement money

Whom to blame?

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. So it was only fitting Friday morning when I read the story about the multibillion-dollar tobacco settlement of 1998 being wasted by the states [“Not much of tobacco money aids health care,” News, Nov. 21].

I say well done to Steve LeBlanc and Julie Carr Smythe on a long-overdue article regarding the shameful spending of the tobacco-settlement money — money that was supposed to be used for tobacco-related illnesses. Instead, some states have chosen to spend it on museums, golf courses, broadband in rural areas and even balancing their budgets

It is shameful how tobacco-related diseases and the lung-cancer community have not seen much, if any, of this “blood” money.

These states need to be held accountable to those whom the money was originally intended to help. Lung cancer remains the No. 1 cancer killer of men and women in all ethnic groups.

In the U.S. alone, the daily number of lung-cancer deaths is equal to a 747 jetliner crashing every single day of the year. I say shame on all of you. Someone needs to be held accountable.

Another jetliner is about to crash.

— Cecilia Izzo, Seattle

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