Friday, April 22, 2011

Support for ITPC Across Indiana

A number of newspapers have come out in support of maintaining ITPC's funding, realizing that this last minute attack by the Senate will do nothing but harm to the Agency and all Hoosiers.

Matthew Tully has a great article in today's Star in which he calls out Senator Kenley.
The Greenfield Daily Report wrote in support of ITPC.
Here is an article in the Journal Review out of Crawfordsville.
The IBJ covered the budget cut on Wednesday.
The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette covers the cuts today.
Leo Morris of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel called the Senate "Swindling Swine" for their last minute actions against ITPC.

There might be some misconceptions about ITPC's funding, they do not get tax dollars.
The money that ITPC gets is from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between the states and the tobacco industry. This year Indiana is going to get $130 million from this settlement, we are only asking that $9 million goes to the one agency dedicated to reducing smoking rates and preventing youth from starting smoking; ITPC.

ITPC has been in existence since 2002 and has proven to be effective in reducing smoking rates in both adults and youth. The agency funds the Indiana Tobacco Quitline (1-800-Quit-Now) which offers free counselling to anyone who wants to quit smoking. The agency also funds tobacco prevention and advocacy programs in virtually every county in Indiana.

Smoking is the number one preventable killer in the United States and secondhand smoke is the third. Every year smoking kills 10,000 Hoosiers and costs the state $2 billion in in preventable health care costs. Smoking also kills more people than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, murders, suicides, drugs and fires combined. So spending $9 million a year to fund an Agency dedicated to reducing costs and saving lives in Indiana is a small sum in the big scheme of things.

Our only hope is that in conference committee the Agency's funding will be restored and they will be allowed to remain as an independent agency. The actions by the Senate are those of only a few individuals and the tobacco lobbyist who are against ITPC, this is not what the state needs or wants to happen.

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