New Jersey - governor has proposed eliminating state funding of tobacco control program..

June 11, 2010 - Governor Chris Christie has proposed eliminating state funding for the Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program (CTCP). The program funds smoking treatment programs and tobacco control programs across the state.

If the Legislature doesn’t restore the money for the budget year that begins July 1, “New Jersey will be the worst state in the country when it comes to the support of tobacco-control programs. That’s an embarrassment," said Fred Jacobs, a former state health commissioner and the current chairman of anti-smoking organization NJ BREATHES.

State Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono will be there to make sure this will not happen.,

New Jersey may lose up to $52.5 million in federal funding if the state refuses to fund the CTCP.

"After only 8 years of NJ QuitCenters, QuitLine, and QuitNet, the percent of ever-smokers who have quit in NJ jumped 10 percentage points. During the same time period, states like Mississippi and Tennessee - who woefully underfunded their tobacco programs - barely changed at all," said Marc L. Steinberg, Ph.D., Director of the Mercer County Tobacco Dependence Program. "Data from other states who have lost funding indicate that if our comprehensive tobacco control program is eliminated, our impressive achievements will regress."

Each smoker costs New Jersey almost $6,000 each year in healthcare costs and lost productivity. One QuitCenter can help 200 smokers per year for only $500 per successful quit, so New Jersey saves $1 million for each Quitcenter it funds.

Teen smoking has been cut in half, but the quit rate among teens has already slowed with decreasing CTCP funds in recent years.

Smoking takes 11,200 lives each year in New Jersey – a number that will increase without the CTCP.

References: New Jersey Poised to Win 'Race to the Bottom' in State Anti-Tobacco Funding, SOURCE: New Jersey BREATHES, PR Newswire, 6/10/2010; N.J. advocates ask Gov. Christie to keep anti-tobacco programs in budget, Susan K. Livio/Statehouse Bureau,, 6/11/2010.

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