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Fund anti-smoking programs with tobacco settlement: MLA - Metro US

Fund anti-smoking programs with tobacco settlement: MLA

Nova Scotia has received $12.4 million from tobacco companies as part of a massive settlement, but there’s debate about where that money should go.

Liberal Diana Whalen said Thursday in the legislature it should go towards smoking-cessation programs.

“Right now, we know those programs work and the number of smokers is going down. But it is underfunded,” said Whalen.

“Their funding pretty much runs out by mid-year.”

But Health Minister Maureen MacDonald said she is reluctant to expand programs if there’s no guarantee of future funding.

“When you get one-time-only money it’s not a good idea to use that to expand your programs unless you know you can sustain them,” she said.

The money is Nova Scotia’s share of a nation-wide $325-million settlement with tobacco manufacturer JTI-MacDonald Corp. Canada launched a civil suit against the company when it was caught supporting the illegal tobacco trade.

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