May 31st, 2017
Tobacco Prevention at CCHD Retains Funding
The Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy (BreatheND), the agency charged with tobacco prevention efforts in North Dakota, was dissolved during this year’s legislative session. “This has led to considerable confusion concerning what happens to tobacco prevention efforts locally and across the state” says Heather Schwehr, Tobacco Prevention Coordinator for City-County Health District (CCHD).
The future of this public health concern was in question as a result of the deep cuts legislators had to make. “We knew the Department of Health (DoH) would likely have oversight, but how much funding would be available was of grave concern. In the final weeks of the legislative session the funding picture became significantly more promising.” Schwehr goes on to say, “we would be looking at a very different picture without the assistance of a few strong leaders, including Senator Robinson and Representative Kiefert, who pushed for and supported additional funding be added to the tobacco prevention and cessation budget at the DoH.” Theresa Will, Director at CCHD adds, “This additional funding will allow local public health units, including City-County Health District, to access grants to continue tobacco prevention, control, and policy work which is vital to the health of our communities.”
Starting July 1, 2017, all tobacco prevention, policy, and cessation will be under the leadership of the North Dakota Department of Health. Lori Thompson RN, and tobacco prevention specialist at CCHD states, “North Dakota has been a leader in tobacco prevention. We look forward to continual improvement in these areas as we move ahead under the direction of the Department of Health.”
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