WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced that a total $1,236,175 will be coming to Iowa for public wellness efforts aimed at reducing obesity rates, decreasing smoking and promoting healthy living through increased physical activity and better nutrition.  The grants are being provided through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and were funded in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  Harkin worked to secure these funds through his role as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, which wrote the Recovery Act.

"To improve our state's physical and financial health, reduce incidents of chronic disease and reign in rising health care costs, we must take steps to keep people well and out of the hospital in the first place," said Harkin.  "Today's funding shows that the Recovery Act continues to help Iowans on all fronts -- today making investments that encourage better health choices and help prevent the chronic diseases related to obesity and smoking."

Specifically, the funds will be used as follows:

$600,256 is being awarded for health policy and environmental change. Under direction of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Iowa will receive funding to promote state-wide policy and environmental changes that support good nutrition, physical activity, obesity control and reduce tobacco use.

$635,919 is being awarded for tobacco cessation. Iowa will receive the funding to expand Quitline Iowa (1-800-QUIT-NOW), and promote its use through expanded media campaigns.  Quitline Iowa provides free support and coaching to all Iowans who wish to quit smoking.

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