By Peter O'Dowd
Laramie, WY – Tobacco companies are trumping Wyoming's effort to battle tobacco use in the state by outspending the Department of Health by 21 million dollars. A report issued yesterday by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids says that tobacco companies spent 27 million dollars marketing their products in Wyoming in 2005. Meanwhile, the Wyoming Department of Health will spend about 6 million dollars on its smoking prevention programs this fiscal year. The discrepancy doesn't surprise George Pitt, the state's tobacco Prevention and Control Coordinator. He says the department's efforts and bans on public smoking in cities such as Laramie have given tobacco companies motivation to fight back. According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, tobacco companies outspend all states 22 to 1.