Money to curb smoking is cut from state budget

Money aimed at preventing tobacco use in Ohio will run out in a year unless the state reverses course on planned budget cuts.

Gov. John Kasich’s budget has proposed cutting tobacco-use prevention funds to $1million in fiscal year 2012 and wiping out the fund for the fiscal year after that.

But the Ohio Department of Health says it needs $1million per year just to enforce the state smoking ban and $2 million to keep the quit-line program going.

Director Theodore Wymyslo, who was appointed by Kasich in January, testified before a Senate committee this month that the cuts also will affect how the statewide smoking ban is enforced.

“Without funds for this program, we will no longer be able to inspect bars and restaurants to ensure the smoking ban enacted by the voters of Ohio is implemented,” Wymyslo said.

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