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American Lung Association Report Card Flunks Federal Government and Most States for Neglecting to Prevent Tobacco Caused Illness
Date:1/13/2009

2009 Presents Tremendous Opportunities to Reverse Tobacco Caused Public Health Crisis

Editor's Note: Complete report including federal and state grades available at: www.stateoftobaccocontrol.org.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Lung Association released its State of Tobacco Control 2008 report today, which includes a report card that grades the strength of state and federal laws to protect citizens from tobacco caused illness now at the heart of America's chronic disease crisis. The report finds that the federal government and most states failed to enact critical policy measures to protect people from deadly tobacco products.

Tobacco-related illness remains the number-one preventable cause of death in the U.S., claiming more than 393,000 American lives every year and costing our nation $193 billion annually. An additional 50,000 die from exposure to secondhand smoke; the U.S. Surgeon General has declared that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

"Political leaders have a duty to reduce death and disease caused by tobacco use," said Charles D. Connor, President and CEO of the American Lung Association. "Our new leaders in Washington have an unprecedented opportunity to change the direction of public health by taking steps that ultimately will save millions of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars for the American economy. During these economically challenged times, it simply cannot be ignored that investing in tobacco prevention and cessation programs is one of the most cost effective ways to improve our nation's health while trimming the bottom line."

State of Tobacco Control 2008 grades are calculated by comparing policies against targets that are based on the most current, recognized scientific criteria for effective tobacco control measures.
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SOURCE The American Lung Association
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