North Carolina is using $271,000 in tobacco-settlement money to create a pilot program to help teens quit smoking, the Associated Press reported May 21.
The program will feature a hot line that teens can call for help. The phone line will be launched initially in Edgecombe, Halifax, Warren, Hertford, Northampton, and Bertie counties.
“This project is risky,” said Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue. “Nobody knows if it is going to work or not. If it succeeds, North Carolina will lead the nation in providing a resource for teenagers.”
Perdue cited state statistics that found that 66.5 percent of black teens who smoke said they wanted to quit, and 47.3 percent of white teens said they wanted to quit.
“We’re being told by the kids they want to quit, but can’t,” Perdue said.