ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) — State budget cuts are hitting local anti-smoking campaigns across Alabama.
Advocates say that's bad policy since the rates of smoking and associated health problems aren't declining.
Lindsey Gillam told The Anniston Star (http://bit.ly/UYRr2R ) that the cuts have cost her program, called Family Links, $33,000. That has forced cutbacks in outreach to schoolchildren, Gillam said.
Earlier this year, the Legislature cut $280,000 state health agency's anti-tobacco program. That was almost a third of the state money that had gone to the program. The effort still received $3 million in federal support.
State Health Officer Dr. Donald Williamson said he was forced to eliminate all grants to local programs like the one Gillam runs. Most of money that remains pays for nicotine-replacement services and a statewide hotline for smokers trying to quit.
Information from: The Anniston Star, http://www.annistonstar.com/