According to an online editorial, published in June, by the Times of Trenton, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that New Jersey provide $120 million for tobacco cessation and prevention programs.” Despite receiving over $1 billion in annual revenues from tobacco settlements and taxes, New Jersey currently ranks 43rd nationwide in the funding of anti-tobacco programs. A fact which was highlighted when New Jersey recently earned an “F” in related funding from the American Lung Association.
“Not only will paying for help to get smokers to quit tobacco save thousands of lives each year, but it will keep our taxes from going to health-care costs,” claimed the Times. Currently, approved smoking-cessation products include patches, gums and inhalers which deliver gradually declining amounts of nicotine to the individual. There are also some prescription medications on the market which assist smokers with the task of quitting. All of these products, or Nicotine Reduction Therapy (NRT) devices, are FDA approved and will likely feature predominantly in New Jersey’s battle against cigarette addiction.
While New Jersey legislation is still pending in regards to their financial contributions towards smoking cessation programs, it’s unlikely there will be any funding spent on possible harm reduction solutions. The FDA’s refusal to recognize electronic cigarettes as a less hazardous alternative means tobacco-addicted individuals in New Jersey face an uphill battle to stay quit; no matter how much money gets thrown at cessation programs.