The NC House has now released their budget and it includes no funding for tobacco use prevention programs, and just $1 million for tobacco use cessation programs, making their recommendations even less than that of the Senate which provided $1.4 million for tobacco use cessation programs. These recommendations have occurred despite the fact that every year the state receives MSA funds, which are specifically intended to help states address the health and financial toll of tobacco use. This year North Carolina received $211 million in funding.
These turn of events make opinion pieces, like this one from You’re the Cure advocate Colleen Daly, even more relevant than in the past months. Colleen writes about an Asheville area teen that is working hard in his community to educate youth about the dangers of tobacco use along with working on some other anti-tobacco initiatives.
Here is an excerpt of what Colleen had to say:
“Last year, the N.C. General Assembly cut tobacco prevention and cessation programs by 85 percent in the annual budget, from $17.3 million to just $2.7 million. This year, the governor has proposed just $1 million for tobacco prevention and cessation.
Because of these programs, there are now 62,000 fewer youth smokers in North Carolina, the lowest youth smoking rate in our state’s history.”
You can read all of Colleen’s letter by clicking here.
Call Rep. Dollar at 919-715-0795 and let him know how important tobacco use prevention and cessation fuding it to you. After you have made your call, self report your activity here.
What are your thoughts on the tobacco funding issues in North Carolina? Have you written any good Letters to the Editor about this issue? Please share below--we would love to hear your thoughts.
**Special thanks to You’re the Cure advocate, Colleen Daly, on sharing her letter to the editor.