The Tobacco Education & Prevention Coalition for Porter County (TEPCPC) was organized with the support of Smokefree Indiana and Valparaiso University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, and funded through a grant from the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation agency. These funds were made available to each of Indiana’s 92 counties as a result of Indiana’s settlement with the Tobacco Industry in the landmark 1998 Master Settlement Agreement involving 46 states. These states settled with the Tobacco Industry for a total of $195 billion to recoup state Medicaid costs due to tobacco-related illnesses, and illegal marketing to youth.
Indiana’s portion of the settlement is $3.996 billion through 2025. Under Senate Enrolled Act 108, the Indiana General Assembly created 5 funds to spend the Industry payments. One of these funds created the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation agency. In addition to a statewide public education campaign, this new state agency provides funding to local counties for education and cessation efforts, as well as to a minority program aimed at reducing health disparities related to tobacco use, enforcement of youth access laws, and evaluation.