Great News! Before the Assembly recessed for the summer, they introduced a bill to provide funding for tobacco programs aimed at preventing smoking and helping smokers quit. Smoking is still the #1 cause of preventable death in the state and New Jersey collects about $700 million from tobacco taxes each year, yet not one single cent is spent on tobacco prevention efforts.
New Jersey is the only state that provides no public funding to stop this preventable public health threat, but this legislation would change that! The bill requires that the state set aside 5% of what they collect in tobacco taxes (or a nickel for every dollar) to be used to for tobacco programs-estimated to be about $33 million each year!
The bill is sponsored by Assemblymen Carmelo Garcia, Timothy Eustace, Adam Taliaferro and Raj Mukherji and we thank them for their leadership on this issue. There is no Senate version of the bill (yet!) but I invite you to join with me and other "You're the Cure" advocates throughout New Jersey to advocate for this important legislation.