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Letter to the Editor: Tobacco Funding, Again

The views stated here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of this newspaper. We welcome supporting or opposing views on any published item. Received February 13, 2023.

February is National Cancer Prevention Month. As a cancer survivor, it is important to me to do everything we can to prevent this devastating diagnosis.  One way we can do this is by funding tobacco prevention and education programs.

Last year, we won a huge victory in this area. After many years of zero funding for these critical programs, our state legislature allocated $12 million to Connecticut’s Tobacco and Health Trust Fund.  Tobacco use contributes to one-third of all cancer diagnoses, and this was a great place to start.

Now, at a time when our state has a record surplus and the firmest economic footing in fifteen years, Governor Lamont is proposing to cut this funding in half, before the program has even begun to be implemented!

Fact-based, statewide tobacco prevention and cessation programs equip people with the tools to stop using tobacco, educate on the negative health outcomes associated with tobacco products, and help dismantle the systemic disparities perpetuated by the tobacco industry. I fail to see the Governor’s reasoning in cutting this program.

In the interest of public health and cancer prevention, I’m asking lawmakers to reject Governor Lamont’s proposed cuts to Connecticut’s Tobacco and Health Trust Fund.

Donna Rogers, Volunteer

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), Higganum

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