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Many States Receive Failing Grades in Lung Association Report on Anti-Tobacco Efforts

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Many states received failing grades on the latest American Lung Association report card rating tobacco control efforts. Forty-three states and the District of Columbia earned an “F” for funding smoking-prevention programs at less than half the levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Alaska was the only state that funded tobacco programs at the CDC’s recommended levels, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. Overall, states’ collective spending on anti-smoking programs dropped 11 percent last year, and only Vermont and Connecticut raised cigarette taxes. Eight states rejected cigarette tax proposals, while New Hampshire decreased its cigarette tax 10 cents per pack, according to the report, the State of Tobacco Control.

“At a time when our country is trying to get a handle on health-care spending, this is an enormous expense that could be avoided by investing in effective tobacco-prevention and cessation programs and policies,” said American Lung Association President and Chief Executive Officer, Charles Connor.

The report covered four policy areas: cigarette taxes, smoking bans, tobacco-prevention spending and cessation coverage. Four states—Delaware, Hawaii, Maine and Oklahoma—received passing grades in all four areas, while six states—Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia—failed in all four categories.

The federal government made some progress in tobacco control, by beginning to offer comprehensive smoking cessation benefits to millions of federal employees and their families, the report noted. The federal government also announced it will give states partial reimbursement for smoking cessation counseling services for Medicaid enrollees through state toll-free phone quitlines.

1 Response to this article

  1. Michael J. McFadden / August 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    So, let’s see how this works. The Lung Association issues its “Antismoking Report Card” for the States in the Winter, and the Cancer Society issues their’s in the Summer. What a wonderful way of turning ONE Press Release propaganda event into TWO! Plus, of course, issuing such important scientific documents to media sources always helps prime the pump for a new wave of donations I guess, eh? Too bad they use the money for this instead of curing cancer etc, but hey, it works, right?

    NY is spending ONLY forty MILLION dollars a year of our money on supporting the Antismokers and so the antismoking folks give them a “failing grade.” The next time you turn on your TV and see those uplifting antismoking ads every hour or so just think how nice it would be if you could watch twice as many.

    NY can buy itself an “A” grade from its professors though if it just gives them THREE THOUSAND MILLION to play with instead of the puny 40 million. Heck, we could dispense with TV shows altogether and just watch ads filled with bloated corpses and gory body parts all day long!

    More fun than Jerry Springer, plus we’d have enough to go after those nasty alcohol folks AND start the ball rolling on banning carcinogenic outdoor patio dining and save those poor workers!

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

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