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Stimulus Funds Boost Missouri Anti-Smoking Campaign

Kansas City, Mo. – Missouri has received more than a million dollars in stimulus funds to help smokers kick the habit. Kit Wagar, with the Missouri department of health, says the money will expand the state's popular quit-line, which offers counseling and nicotine replacement therapy.

"In 2008, about 5200 people called. In 2009 we more than doubled that," says Wagar. "We figure roughly about a third of those people are able to quit the year they call."

For all that, Wagar says about one in four Missourians still smoke, one of the highest rates in the country. He says the quit-line was scheduled to end this fall had the stimulus money not come through.

The state also received in $900,000 stimulus funds to boost nutrition programs throughout the state.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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