BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota lawmakers are mulling a proposal to dissolve the state's tobacco prevention agency.

The North Dakota Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy was created in 2008 after the state accepted money in a settlement of a multistate lawsuit against the country's largest tobacco companies.

Former Gov. Jack Dalrymple recommended closing the agency in his final budget address last month. And the idea appears to have strong support by the Republican-led Legislature, which believes the agency duplicates anti-tobacco efforts by the state Health Department.

Jeanne Prom is the center's executive director. She told the House Appropriations Committee Wednesday that the agency has the sole mission of discouraging tobacco use and needs to be funded.

Prom says smoking rates among youth and adults have dropped since the agency was formed.

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