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Published February 23, 2011, 08:43 PM

ND Health Dept. Budget Uses Anti-Smoking Funds

A budget bill for North Dakota's Health Department uses money that the state's voters wanted to be spent on anti-smoking measures.

By: Associated Press,

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A budget bill for North Dakota's Health Department uses money that the state's voters wanted to be spent on anti-smoking measures.

The North Dakota House approved the budget Wednesday. It changes an initiated measure that voters approved in 2008.

The measure said 80 percent of money from the state's "community health trust fund" must be spent on reducing tobacco use.

The fund itself is financed by a state lawsuit settlement against the nation's largest tobacco companies.

The Health Department budget bill eliminates the 80 percent provision.

It uses trust fund money for women's breast cancer screening, a state stroke registry and a program to fight heart disease in women.

Rugby Rep. Jon Nelson says the change won't hurt anti-smoking efforts.

The Health Department budget now goes to the state Senate.

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