On the plus side, Toomey singled out New York City for special praise. Smoking rates in New York City have continued to decline, while across the nation rates have stalled, she said. Toomey said she believes that city officials have the political will and a workable plan to reduce smoking.
To illustrate her point, Toomey noted that smoking rates among high school students in New York City dropped to 8.5 percent from 17.6 percent, and the smoking rate for teenage girls dropped to 8.6 percent from 12 percent in 2005.
Toomey also praised Maine for its high cigarette tax and smoke-free air laws and its continued funding of smoking-prevention programs. While no state got straight A's in this year's report card, Maine had three A's and a B, the best showing by any state.
Tennessee also received praise for strengthening its smoke-free air law in 2007. Tennessee is the first traditional tobacco-growing state to pass strong restrictions on smoking in public places and workplaces, Toomey said.
In addition, 21 states have passed comprehensive smoke-free air laws, Billings said. "Sadly, 18 states continue to get an 'F' in this category, leaving millions of Americans exposed to potentially lethal secondhand smoke in public places," he said.
Despite evidence that smoking-prevention programs keep teens from starting to smoke and help motivate adults to quit, only six states fund these programs at the level recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Billings said.
"Only nine states received an 'A' for funding their programs at 90 percent or more of the CDC's recommended funding level," Billings said. "Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico received an 'F' for tobacco prevention and control funding," he added.
Ten states received
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