Indiana Smoking Prevention Agency in Peril

The Indiana Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Board could be dismantled and its functions folded into the State Department of Health, the Associated Press reported March 9.

State lawmakers are considering the plan forwarded by Indiana Budget Director Chris Ruhl, who said the move could save up to $1.5 million in overhead and administration costs. Ruhl said smoking is the only health issue with its own bureaucratic agency, and he questioned the board's effectiveness even though the state's smoking rate has declined in recent years.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids objected, saying that funding for prevention dropped when similar independent agencies were dissolved in other states. 

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