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Md. Smoke Cessation Program Faces Cuts

Among the casualties of Maryland's budget cuts is the smoking cessation program that's funded by the decade-old tobacco settlement.

The "Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Program" will be cut to $7 million annually from $21 million. Health care advocates successfully pressed to keep the cut to two years instead of the permanent reduction that was originally proposed. But they say the change puts at risk the state's free smoking cessation hotline, local health department stop-smoking programs, school-based prevention programs and surveys of cigarette use.

"It's very unfortunate," said Vincent DeMarco of the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, which led the campaign for the current $2 tax on cigarettes. He said three factors are believed to influence someone's decision to start smoking: A high tax on cigarettes, a smoke-free workplace, and prevention programs. Maryland gets high marks for the first two, but the reduction to prevention programs carries "very significant and potentially deadly consequences," he said.

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By Lisa Rein  |  April 13, 2009; 12:13 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly , Lisa Rein  
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Comments

ALL of the tobacco settlement money was to go toward smoking cessation and smoking health related problems. THIS IS AN EVEN BIGGER LIE FOISTED ON TAXPAYERS THAN THE BANK DERIVATIVES LIE. Very little of this money has gone where taxpayers were told it would go to help we poor unfortunate, great unwashed, smokers. I quit on my own on January 30; I will never smoke again because I refuse to pay the tax. My sister following my lead quit about 2 weeks later. Our incomes, property, water, energy, the air we breathe, everything we do in the State of Maryland is taxed. The smoking $2.00 a pack, however, is one I can control, and have done so. Who will the government come after next when they can't pick my pocket - are you too heavy, do you eat snacks, do you think - then watch out, you remained silent when they came for me, and now they'll be after you.

Posted by: robinsonawjr | April 13, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey,

If you are a smoker check this out: www.invisismoke.com

Cheers

Posted by: nerdovision | April 19, 2009 2:55 AM | Report abuse

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