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Act Now to Preserve Funding for Tobacco-Use Programs

 

The House Health and Human Services (HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee is working NOW to finalize the HHS appropriations proposal. This is a pivotal time. The House leadership expects to have the House version of the budget approved in just a few short weeks. There is no time to waste!

Future funding for tobacco-use prevention and cessation programs is at risk since the Health and Wellness Trust Fund (HWTF) was eliminated in last year's budget. The HWTF previously received 25 percent of the state's tobacco settlement funds and provided dedicated funding for the state's tobacco prevention and cessation programs. 

While last year's budget permitted the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to allocate $17.3 million to tobacco prevention and cessation programs for one year, this funding is currently non-recurring. The programs face elimination by June 30 (in less than two months!) unless funding is renewed by the General Assembly this year.

With the House budget deadline approaching and subcommittees working now to prepare their proposals, now is the time for advocates to communicate with their House members about the effectiveness of NC's current tobacco-use prevention and cessation programs and the need to secure recurring funds of at least $17.3 million to sustain current efforts to keep our youth from starting to smoke.

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