Tobacco settlement could fund anti-smoking programs in Pennsylvania
Smoking prevention, education and cessation programs should receive the bulk of Pennsylvania's allocation of national tobacco settlement funds, three local health officials testified Wednesday at a hearing in Wilkes-Barre.
The hearing was one of five held this week across the state to gather public comment on how to earmark Pennsylvania's share of a settlement reached in November between 46 states and the tobacco industry.
Pennsylvania got about $11.3 billion in the attempt to recoup public health care dollars spent fighting lung cancer and other tobacco-related illnesses. The state will receive $138 million the first year, and an average of $450 million a year for 25 years.
Alice J. Dalla Palu, executive director of the Allentown-based Coalition for a Smoke-Free Valley, urged the Ridge administration to follow guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control, which advise each state included in the settlement to put at least one quarter of the settlement annually toward an effective tobacco control program.