Eye On Boise

Why Project Filter ran out of money

Idaho's "Project Filter" is now once again offering four weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy to smokers who want to quit, after the program was suspended in May and June due to lack of money. The start of the state's new budget year yesterday put the nicotine-replacement program back in place with the new fiscal year's funding. It's a popular program started in July of 2008, authorized by the state Legislature through the Millenium Fund (tobacco settlement money) and operated by the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare. But the demand for it soared in late spring after a big hike in the federal tobacco tax. That, in turn, caused a huge jump in the number of Idaho smokers who wanted to quit, according to Health & Welfare - and the rest of the year's worth of funding was quickly used up.

Jack Miller, program manager for Project Filter, said, "We know that there are many Idahoans who are serious about quitting smoking. Once someone makes that decision that today is the day to quit, we're here to help." The replacement therapy includes a free four-week supply of nicotine patches, gum and lozenges. It's available at (800) QUIT-NOW or www.idaho.quitnet.com.

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Eye On Boise

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