Monday, March 8, 2010 - Iowa Department of Public Health officials said that a new study shows a 52 percent drop in cigarette sales in Iowa.ANTI-SMOKING PROGRAMS – Cut state money for anti-smoking programs, the proposal says. Iowans would no longer see TV ads and billboards from the Just Eliminate Lies program, and they no longer could call in for free stop-smoking advice and nicotine gum from the Quitline Iowa program. The cuts also would take away state incentives to local police to enforce bans on tobacco sales to minors. The state’s anti-smoking efforts used to draw most of their financing from annual payments cigarette manufacturers made to settle a state lawsuit. However, legislators voted several years ago to sell off future tobacco company payments for immediate cash, which they have spent. The state health department said at least several hundred thousand dollars in federal grants probably could be revoked if the state cuts were put in place. SAVINGS: $2.4 million in the last six months of this year, plus $6.7 million in the next fiscal year.
Report shows Iowa’s smoking ban has already led to a decrease in hospitalizations for cardiovascular diseases.
"Just Eliminate Lies" program - Iowans no longer would face gruesome photos of mouth cancer or TV portrayals of smarmy cigarette salesmen if House Republicans get their way. GOP leaders want to end to the "Just Eliminate Lies" program, which sponsors graphic anti-tobacco ads and organizes youth conferences to battle smoking.
Linda Upmeyer, a Garner Republican set to become majority leader, said Just Eliminate Lies often spends money on superfluous activities, such as merchandise giveaways. "If we're going to do smoking cessation, I don't think Iowans want to buy backpacks and T-shirts," she said.
House Republicans proposed junking the program this week as part of a large package of budget cuts. They also proposed ending a program called Quitline Iowa, which provides telephone counseling to people who want to quit smoking.
Reference: Iowa GOP bill: Eliminate preschool, cancel sabbaticals and chop AEA budgets, Blog post by Jason Clayworth (firstname.lastname@example.org), 1/3/2011; House GOP targets tobacco programs by TONY LEYS (email@example.com), 1/5/2011.
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