Tennessee Health Commissioner Dr. John Dreyzehner visited the Wilson County Health Department in Lebanon to present $55,909 in funding as part of the Tennessee Tobacco Settlement Program.
Each county in Tennessee will receive funding during this three-year program to reduce the burden of tobacco use in the state. All counties are challenged to set goals and select one or more projects that address three topics: eliminating smoking during pregnancy; reducing infants’ and children’s exposure to second-hand smoke; and preventing child and adolescent tobacco use.
Wilson County’s first year project focuses on encouraging school-aged children not to start smoking. The program targets sixth grade students, according to officials.
Funding from the Tobacco Settlement was provided to the Tennessee Department of Health for fiscal years 2014-16 to address the state’s high rate of tobacco use and prevent expensive related medical costs. The plan to distribute $15 million over three years has been generated with input from all 95 counties. This plan includes a variety of projects to target behaviors designed to protect the health of Tennessee’s most vulnerable populations: unborn babies, pregnant women and children.