First comprehensive report on state's multiple tobacco programs shows major successes

North Carolina is making huge strides in tobacco use prevention and cessation, according to the first comprehensive evaluation of the state’s multiple tobacco programs, recently released by UNC-Chapel Hill researchers.

The North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund spends $17 million annually to fund tobacco use prevention and cessation programs for teens and college students, as well as QuitlineNC, a telephone support service for people who want to quit using tobacco. The trust fund was created in 2000 to receive 25 percent of the state’s share of the Master Settlement Agreement.

The report – prepared for the trust fund by the UNC School of Medicine’s Tobacco Prevention and Evaluation Program – says that many of the gains made in the last year, as well as since the trust fund began funding programs five years ago, are models for other states across the U.S.

“According to a recent report from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids marking the 10th anniversary of the Master Settlement Agreement, most states are not spending enough of their money on tobacco prevention,” said Dr. Adam Goldstein, UNC program director. “But relative to other major tobacco-producing states, our evaluation shows North Carolina’s investment in youth tobacco prevention is substantial, and the positive outcomes that have resulted are truly encouraging.”

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