The article on budget reductions impacting the state's Tobacco Prevention and Control Program highlighted one of the tough decisions made to address the impact of the struggling national economy on the state budget.
Secretary Timberlake published a letter to the editor today in response to the article addressing the funding cut for tobacco prevention:
Funding for tobacco prevention received an across-the-board reduction applied to all state programs, as well as significant reductions during the legislative budget process. Even with these cuts, the Department of Health Services is committed to helping smokers who want to quit and preventing kids from starting to smoke.
We will maintain an important resource in our state - the Quit Line - which has consistently served about 2 percent of Wisconsin's smoking population. We will still be able to assist the same number of people, despite the reductions.
We'll achieve this by maintaining the basic funding level for the Quit Line, as well as adjusting the number of follow-up calls for individuals with private insurance to ensure the Quit Line will remain an effective tool for many years. We also cover smoking cessation medications through the Medicaid program.
There are many reasons to stop smoking, whether it's for your own health, your family's health or because smoking is an increasingly expensive addiction. Whatever your reason, the Quit Line is still available to help. Call 1-800-QUIT NOW today.