Pennsylvania Cuts Funding on Smoking-Cessation Programs


Recently John D’Alessandro, aged 50, ended a smoking cessation course called “Clear the Air” at Crozer-Chester Medical Center. The course lasted six weeks and helped the man who smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day to cut their use in half.

John D’Alessandro started to smoke cigarettes at age 7 and stopped “cold turkey” 35 years later after he became diseased. However, in six years he started smoking again.

He smoked only one cigarette a day, then two, then three and soon the number increased to a package.  John was one among those 6,000 in Pennsylvania willing to quit smoking with the help of counseling.

Though health specialists say that courses like Crozer’s do greatly help to quit smoking and they strongly recommend people to use them, however,  New Jersey’s Gov. Christie and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell decided to cut funds of such courses far below federally recommended levels.

Experts say that in both states rates of smoking people got reduced due to such programs, but in spite of this there are still many peole who smoke.

A ccording to the Public Health Management Corp.’s 2012 survey, in Chester city almost 37% of adults smoke, this is double the regional rate. In Pottstown and the upper part of North Philadelphia more than 35% of adults do smoke.

Frank Leone, a physician who directs the University of Pennsylvania’s Comprehensive Smoking Treatment Program considers that today funding rates reflect the 1980s and ’90s notion toward smoking and actually do not reflect what these hardened smokers need in their community.

At present days smoking remains favorite bad habit of milions of people in the entire world. Most often smoking is the cause of stroke and heart diseases, It harms almost every organ of the human body, and quitting has both immediate and long-term health benefits.

In New Jersey smoking-related care costs about $3.2 billion and $5.2 billion in Pennsylvania and $3.2 billion in New Jersey. It is clear that smokers are more frequently charged higher rates for health insurance.

10 years ago Pennsylvania authorities spent $52.6 million to control and prevent tobacco consumption.

The upcoming fiscal year’s budget promises just $14.21 million – less than last year’s, which got the state an F on funding from the American Lung Association.

Holli Senior, deputy press secretary at the Pennsylvania Department of Health said that Pennsylvania is making progress. She added that the cuts had lowered the availability of community-based services. However, the state’s doubling of free nicotine-replacement therapy from 4 to 8 weeks and providing patches with lozenges and gum free to individuals who call the state’s Quitline.

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