N.J. gets $2.2M for anti-smoking effort
TRENTON -- New Jersey has been awarded $2.2 million to expand an anti-smoking effort that includes a series of summits to be attended by teenagers.
The grant was released Tuesday to New Jersey and 11 other states planning to use at least some of the money from a nationwide settlement with tobacco companies on programs for children and adolescents. The grants are paid over three years; New Jersey's first installment will total $703,680.
The American Legacy Foundation, a foundation set up under the settlement with the tobacco industry, awarded the grants.
New Jersey wants to send teenagers to a series of summits at which attendees will learn about tobacco and develop peer-leadership and advocacy skills. The state will host its first statewide summit in November. It is expected to be attended by 500 teenagers, according to the state Department of Health and Senior Services.
"These funds will help us mobilize the teens who will be the best anti-tobacco ambassadors in our schools and our neighborhoods," Governor Whitman said in a written statement Tuesday.
New Jersey has a $30 million tobacco-control program that targets youths and adults. That program also is funded through the national tobacco settlement.
The 1999 New Jersey Youth Tobacco Survey of 16,000 students in 164 schools shows that nearly one in five middle school students and nearly two in five high school students report they use tobacco products.