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Dear [Decision Maker],
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in our state. Tennessee has the 3rd highest smoking rate in the nation and is tied for last in the nation in funding prevention and cessation programs. A poll recently conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, shows strong support for changes to tobacco and vaping-related policies in Tennessee, specifically raising the tobacco sale age to 21, ensuring smoke-free places, and dedicated prevention funding.The poll shows that 78 percent of voters are in favor of a state law to make all indoor public spaces smoke free and 80 percent support dedicating at least $4 million of the state's tobacco revenue funds to prevention programs. Bipartisan support of these issues spans the state.During the 2018 session the Tennessee legislature entirely cut funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs. The 2019 budget has $0 set aside for tobacco prevention and cessation programs. A strong state tobacco control program is vitally important to protect our kids from a lifetime of addiction to tobacco. This is a proven strategy to prevent kids from starting and help adults quit.We need you to support a budget amendment to reinstate $4 million for the Department of Health's tobacco prevention and cessation program. Tennessee voters support this issue and so should you.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]