To the editor:
I?d like to thank Iowa state lawmaker, Representative Dave Heaton, for his work crafting Iowa?s state budget, specifically protecting funding for the state?s tobacco prevention and cessation program. I appreciate that he took the time to listen to his constituents and our concerns.
Our program, which has helped slash youth smoking rates by upwards of 60 percent in the last 15 years, is proven to work and has still more work to do. Tobacco companies are always producing new products and pushing the boundaries of how they can appeal to kids. We need to push back and have a robust prevention program in place.
This budget, like every budget, was about balancing priorities. As a past smoker, I?m glad Representative Heaton and the legislature overall saw the value in this program and realized that protecting tobacco prevention programs is really about protecting lives. Not starting is a whole lot easier than quitting.
Again, thank you Dave.