Los Angeles County Supervisors Approve $3.5M for Anti-Tobacco Campaigns
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved $3.5 million to establish anti-smoking programs, despite concerns that the funds should be used to stave off the county health department's "looming" $1 billion deficit, the Los Angeles Times reports. In a 4-1 vote, supervisors approved using a portion of the national tobacco settlement that the county received this year to fund 33 community organizations' anti-smoking campaigns. The four supervisors who approved the funding "relied on medical officials' arguments" that anti-smoking efforts will save the county money in the future. Supervisor Gloria Molina, the lone dissenter, said she was "alarmed" that her colleagues would approve the funding when the health department's budget deficit is expected to reach $1 billion by 2005. Last year, the board decided to allocate $60 million of the county's annual tobacco settlement funds to "patc[h] up" the health department's "mammoth deficit," while keeping $40 million available for smoking prevention programs (Riccardi, Los Angeles Times, 12/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.