State Senator Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, is opposing a provision in a
Senate bill that she said could damage the state’s smoking cessation
S.B. 298 abolishes the Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation (ITPC) Board,
transferring its duties and management to the Indiana Department of Health.
Tallian offered an amendment to retain the board, but the amendment was
rejected last week in a Senate committee.
“The only way to save money under the board’s elimination is lay off the 14
staff members currently responsible for this program,” Tallian told her
Senate colleagues. “I don’t understand how you can just give the
responsibilities of 14 people to other people who already have full time
duties and expect this program to succeed.”
The program is funded through the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement Trust
Fund, not the state’s general fund. The program is appropriated $10.9
million annually, of which $9.9 million goes to approximately 200 local
community tobacco use prevention and cessation programs.
According to testimony presented earlier this month, Tallian said Indiana’s
program is seen around the nation as a leader in tobacco control and as a
model agency that has included community participation in its programs and
its executive board. The administration and management of ITPC, as well as
the design of the entire program, is modeled on evidence-based best
practices as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control.
Tallian said she is also concerned that the effort could be an attempt to
raid the fund for general use by the Department of Health.
More information about the Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Board is
available at www.in.gov/itpc