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Report Card on Tobacco Control Laws a Mixed Bag
Date:1/12/2010

(Michigan, South Dakota, Wisconsin) met the lung association's Smokefree Challenge in 2009 by passing strong smoke-free laws. That's better than the two states that met the challenge in 2008 but far less than 2006-07, when 16 states and the District of Columbia met the challenge. The report card gave an "A" to 22 states and the District of Columbia for smoke-free air policies in 2009.
  • Tobacco Prevention and Control Programs: Only two states (Alaska and North Dakota) received an "A" in this category. Their funding of tobacco control and prevention programs was 80 percent or more of the level recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The District of Columbia and 41 states received an "F" for spending less than 50 percent of the CDC-recommended levels. The District of Columbia and the following 10 states reduced spending by 25 percent or more: Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin.
  • Cessation Treatments: No state received an "A" in this category, while 31 states received an "F" for their failure to offer comprehensive tobacco cessation treatments to Medicaid recipients and state employees.
  • Smoking-related disease is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, killing more than 393,000 people each year and costing the economy more than $193 billion. Another 50,000 Americans die from exposure to secondhand smoke.

    "The failure of the federal government and each state government to get all "A" grades for enacting strong and effective tobacco control laws comes at a critical time," the lung association said in its news release. "Tobacco control policies are extraordinarily popular. But the tobacco industry is not letting up on its aggressive marketing and promotion strategies to spur increased smoking. Until elected officials overcome their fears of standing up to the tobacco industry, hundreds o
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