A new statewide poll finds three out of four North Carolina voters believe that the state should continue to dedicate some of the money it receives from the tobacco settlement to fund the state’s tobacco prevention and control program.
The findings released Wednesday by the North Carolina Alliance for Health also indicated that despite budget concerns, nearly half of those surveyed (49%) believe it is very important that the money go to programs to prevent kids from smoking, and to provide help for smokers who want to quit.
Amy Barkley, an advocacy director with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, says legislators who abolished funding for the Health and Wellness Trust Fund (HWTF) last year would be wise to review the findings. Voters by a more than a three-to-one margin, said they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports funding tobacco prevention programs.
Currently, 16.7 percent of North Carolina high school students smoke, and 11,100 additional kids become regular smokers every year.
Click below to hear Barkley discuss the need to continue funding the HWTF: