The Cost of Quitting

The cost of weaning people in Connecticut off cigarettes in 2009 - $6.8 million.

The savings in lives and health care costs? Priceless.

The state's Tobacco and Health Trust Fund has spent about $2.3 million since 2003 on helping people quit smoking and preventing others from taking up the habit.

They want to up it to $6.8 million next year. The money comes from a fund started in 1999 after a national settlement with major tobacco problems. A new law allows for more money to be spent from that fund.

The proposal on the table for 2009 includes $2 million for the state's "Quitline" telephone counseling service so it can start offering nicotine replacement therapies again.

The $2 million would go toward a statewide anti-smoking media campaign and $1.2 million for smoking cessation programs for people with mental illness.

The plan would have to be approved by Connecticut legislators.

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