Many States Receive Grades of ‘F’ on Tobacco Prevention Efforts, Report Finds
Many states have failed to adequately fund anti-tobacco programs and protect residents from secondhand smoke despite the billions of dollars that they have received from the 1998 national tobacco settlement, according to a report released Tuesday by the American Lung Association, the AP/Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports (Friedlin, AP/Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 1/6). The annual report, which the association first published last year, examines state tobacco prevention and control programs, smoke-free air laws, cigarette taxes and youth access to tobacco products (Anderson, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1/6). The report issued grades of "F" to 38 states for failure to adequately fund tobacco prevention and control programs and to 35 states for inadequate smoke-free air laws (AP/Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 1/6). The report found that 16 states and the District of Columbia increased cigarette taxes in 2003; on average, state cigarette taxes increased by 10 cents to 72 cents per pack. However, many states with increased cigarette tax revenue still have reduced funds for tobacco prevention and control programs because of budget deficits, the report found (Reid Blackwell, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 1/6). The report issued grades of "F" to 23 states for their failure to restrict youth access to tobacco products (AP/Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 1/6). However, the report found that many states enacted measures to restrict youth access to tobacco products online or through the mail (Fackelmann, USA Today, 1/6). The report issued grades of "A" to 15 states in at least one of the four categories; California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine and Rhode Island received grades of "A" in two categories, and New York received grades of "A" in three categories (AP/Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 1/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.