Budget Could Eliminate Teen Anti-Smoking Campaign
The budget on Governor Bev Perdue's desk would eliminate the Health and Wellness Trust Fund. And that has some public health experts worried.
One of the Fund's best known programs is an aggressive teen anti-smoking campaign called Tobacco Reality Unfiltered, or T-R-U. The budget would allow for some of the fund's money to go to the department of health and human services which could create a similar program.
But Doctor Adam Goldstein, from the tobacco prevention and evaluation program at UNC Chapel Hill says their research shows T-R-U has reached most of the kids in the state and makes a difference.
Adam Goldstein: "The reality is you have an effective program, an effective staff, and effective infrastructure around the state. All of that gets eliminated, so you're eliminating what works, and you're going to replace it with something that may or may not work and you may or may not have funding for maybe one year... maybe not."
In 1999, the teen smoking rate was 31 percent. That rate plummeted after T-R-U started. Now, only about 16 percent of North Carolina teens smoke.