Wisconsin’s clean indoor act may be deemed a success, but programs to combat tobacco use remain underfunded here, according to Sue Swan with the American Lung Association. Swan says the programs work. “Middle school smoking rates are down by sixty-seven percent, high school down by forty three-percent, and adult smoking rates are down by twenty-one percent,” she said. “So we know this program is working.” Smoking prevention and cessation is currently funded at about five million dollars annually – less than nine percent of what the Centers for Disease Control recommend. “A comprehensive approach includes cessation, prevention, community intervention, counter marketing, school programs, enforcement. It’s the whole thing, but there’s less of it, for sure.” Swan is disappointed that the state is blocking efforts by the Milwaukee Health Department and UW Health Services, to obtain 27 million dollars in federal funding. She says that money will end up going to another state.
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