Letter: Anti-smoking program suffers from budget cuts

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Friday, January 18, 2013 | Don Curtis, Owego | Categories:
We are approaching a critical point in health care: Each year, there is a long debate over fiscal allocations for government-funded programs, and unfortunately the outcome is to often sacrifice long-term interests for short-term needs. The Tobacco Control Program suffered massive cuts in the past few years and is now operating with half of the budget it had in 2009. The effect of these cuts is devastating: With a limited budget, the New York State Quitline has not been able to advertise as much and fewer New Yorkers are calling them. The rates of adults and youth smoking are still decreasing, but more slowly, and it may level off if we do not have the resources to educate the public and provide resources to those interested in quitting. It is critical that the Tobacco Control Program’s full funding is restored, because combating the primary cause of preventable disease is essential to our health and future.
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