Lack Of State Funding Prompts CDH To Cut Tobacco Program

NORTHAMPTON — As a result of funding cutbacks at the state level, Cooley Dickinson Hospital (CDH) administrators have decided to eliminate the facility’s popular Quit Now tobacco treatment program.
“This year’s state budget cuts have had a significant impact on some of the prevention and substance abuse services at the hospital,” said Edward Sayer, director of CDH Behavioral Health Services. The Quit Now program and all related tobacco treatment services ceased on Aug. 20.

Sayer said the hospital considered creative ways to fund the program but determined it would not be possible. “Although tobacco treatment services are important to our community, we want to be sure that sufficient resources are available for the hospital to provide our core medical, surgical, and emergency services.”

In nearly two years, 300 patients have completed the Quit Now program. In September 2000, CDH was one of 13 organizations to be awarded a grant to offer tobacco-cessation programs to area residents. The grant was awarded through the Department of Public Health through revenue from the tobacco settlement.