It is with great sadness that I realize the legislators of North Carolina did not include funding for tobacco prevention programs in this year’s budget. It is difficult to deny the success of this program when fully funded. Evidence shows when states have cut funding for tobacco prevention programs, progress has stalled and even reversed.
It is important that the youth of North Carolina not start using tobacco, and thanks to these programs, the middle school smoking rate has dropped by 55 percent since 2003. As a result of cuts, future health care costs will rise. Smoking is one of the leading risk factors for heart disease, stroke and cancer, the top three leading health issues in North Carolina.
I’ve spent my professional career working with stroke victims and I have seen what a devastating event stroke is for the survivor and their families.
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