Where the money went 

Last year, the state spent only $204.5 million of its tobacco riches -- a bank account that now holds more than $1 billion.

Here's where the money went:

$82,136,565 -- Agency for Health Care Administration $75 million to match federal funding for expansion of state-subsidized health insurance for children of low-income families; $5,136,565 to Medicaid; $2 million for prosthetic and orthopedic devices for people in state-subsidized health plans.

$14,403,596 -- Department of Children and Families $10 million for Healthy Families, providing services for disadvantaged pregnant women and newborns at home; $2,879,183 to support the state's computerized information system for child welfare; $1,524,413 for the Florida System, a computerized tracking program of government benefits.

$37,396,980 -- Department of Health $15 million for county public health clinics and labs; $11 million for full-service schools, where health care and nurses are available; $5,696,980 for computerized health information systems; $4.5 million for other school health programs; $1.2 million for a children's medical information system.

$600,000 -- Department of Education Healthy Mothers and Babies education program.

$70 million -- Florida Tobacco Pilot Program $61.5 million for the health department campaign for organizing community and school drives against smoking -- the SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) team -- and the "Truth" campaign advertising the ill effects of smoking; $8.5 million to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, to enforce a ban on tobacco sales to minors and a newer law against possession of cigarettes by youth under 18.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

More by Lori Rozsa


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

February 24, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation