Much of the reporting on the General Assembly’s 2012-13 budget has focused on the $189 million less  that school districts will have to work with next year. But health advocates believe the public will be also troubled to learn of the deep cuts made to the North Carolina’s smoking prevention and cessation programs.
Peg O’Connell with the North Carolina Alliance for Health  says $17.3 million was what was needed to maintain current efforts. And at this level of funding, there’s a very real threat that the hard-fought progress made over the past decade will be quickly eroded.
O’Connell, who appeared on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon last weekend, says the major tobacco companies now spend about $10.5 billion per year (that’s nearly $29 million every day) to promote their products.
To hear a portion of the interview with O’Connell, click below. To hear the full segment, visit the Radio Interview  section of the N.C. Policy Watch website. (Also be sure to check out last weekend’s interviews with Rep. Earline Parmon  on eugenics compensation and members of the We Are NC  coalition on immigration reform.)