State tobacco prevention office cuts all but 1 employee
Jul. 26, 2017
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — As a result of budget cuts, the West Virginia Division of Tobacco Prevention will terminate all but one position in its eight-person office.
Division director Jim Kerrigan confirmed on Tuesday to The Charleston Gazette-Mail that he'll be the only remaining employee. Kerrigan says he hopes to keep two programs going: Quitline — a tobacco-cessation hotline — and RAZE — an anti-tobacco education program aimed at teenagers.
With no funding in the 2017-18 budget, Kerrigan says the division is operating on state funds that carried over from the previous budget year, and on federal grants.
Juliana Frederick Curry of the American Cancer Society says the cuts are disheartening because West Virginia has the highest youth smoking rate and second-highest adult smoking rate in the nation.
Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.