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Anti-Smoking Program Gets Cuts

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The state budget crunch is forcing a big cut in anti-smoking efforts. California plans to hack $61 million from anti-tobacco programs and the first to go will be regional centers set up to work with cities, schools and other groups. The centers employ advisers who help cities, counties, schools and community groups with questions, campaigns, studies and other anti-tobacco campaigns. Department of Health Services spokesman Ken August says he doesn´t expect the cuts to cause an increase in the number of California smokers. He says the state plans to continue programs that target young adults and smoking cessation such as the California Smokers´ Helpline. California is grappling with a $23.6 billion budget deficit.