EUREKA – The state is providing Humboldt with more resources than ever to prevent tobacco use, and a group is planning on rallying at the courthouse Tuesday to incite healthcare change.
At their regularly scheduled meeting, Humboldt County Supervisors will vote to accept about $1.3 million in funding from the California Tobacco Control Program to go towards our local Tobacco-Free Humboldt program.
Last November, California voters approved an increase on tobacco taxes by two dollars a pack, which has led to these additional funds.
Humboldt exceeds state averages of adult and youth smokers by 7% and 9%, prospectively.
Tobacco-Free Humboldt aims to increase awareness of the health risks associated with smoking tobacco and promote a nicotine addiction-free environment.
Supervisors are also expecting a healthcare rally Tuesday.
The North Coast People’s Alliance and the California Nurses Association plan to make their voices heard outside the Humboldt County Courthouse to encourage supervisors to approve a resolution in support of State Bill 562, the Healthy California Act.
The act aims to incite a universal, single-payer healthcare system in goal of making it possible for every Californian to have access to comprehensive healthcare services, but it comes at a cost.
“I really don’t think we’re going to be able to afford 562 on the state budget unless we want to give up other things like road safety, teachers, schools… The money is just not there. The intentions are great. It sounds great. But at the end you still have to pay the piper. It’s an easy situation, but that’s why I appreciate these people tomorrow [Tuesday] bringing it up in the forefront and coming with some answers and maybe working together on this.”
The rally begins Tuesday at 8AM outside the Humboldt County Courthouse, and will proceed into the county meeting starting at 9AM in the Supervisors Chambers.
Supervisor Virginia Bass tells us that because this healthcare item is not on their formal agenda, no action can be taken and discussion will be limited.