Skip to content

Smoking Cessation Health Center

Fed’s Antismoking Efforts Get Passing Grade

But Most States Continue to 'Fail Miserably,' Spokesman Says
Font Size
A
A
A
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Jan. 20, 2011 -- Federal efforts to reduce smoking in the United States are being applauded by the American Lung Association, but the group says most states are still doing far too little to help smokers quit and keep nonsmokers from starting.

In its ninth annual State of Tobacco Control report, the American Lung Association (ALA) tracked the progress of national and state tobacco control initiatives during 2010.

The implementation of landmark antismoking legislation and the passage of health care reform last spring were hailed as major steps forward in the national effort to lower smoking rates.

Federal Efforts Get Passing Grade

As a result, federal officials received a passing grade from the group, while most states failed to make significant progress.

“President Obama and the 111th Congress enacted the strongest tobacco control policies in American history, but we still have a long way to go,” ALA President Charles D. Connor said at a news briefing.

He added that most states are “failing miserably” in their tobacco control efforts.

“Despite collecting millions of dollars and in some cases billions in tobacco settlement money and excise taxes, most states are investing only pennies of those dollars to help smokers quit and keep kids from starting,” Connor said.

The report noted that tobacco prevention and smoking cessation have emerged as the major initiatives in the federal government’s antismoking initiatives.

The Tobacco Control Act, signed into law in 2009, gave the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products. Key provisions include strengthening restrictions on the sale and marketing of tobacco products to children and teens and the removal of misleading terms like “light,” “mild,” and “low-tar” from cigarette labeling.

And the sweeping health care reform law mandates coverage of tobacco cessation treatments by most private health care insurers. It also requires that the states offer these treatments to low-income pregnant women who receive Medicaid.

But Much More Could Be Done

These changes raised the federal government’s grade for smoking cessation coverage from an F to a C. But the failure to offer such coverage to all Medicaid recipients will end up costing taxpayers money, the group claims.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

hands breaking a cigarette
Is quitting cold turkey an effective method?
ashtray
14 tips to get you through the first hard days.
 
smoking man
Surprising impacts of tobacco on the body.
cigarette smoke
What happens when you kick the habit?
 

Filtered cigarettes
ARTICLE
an array of e cigarettes
ARTICLE
 
human heart
ARTICLE
Woman experiencing withdrawal symptoms
ARTICLE
 

man smoking cigarette
ARTICLE
no smoking sign
VIDEO
 
Woman ashing cigarette in ashtray
ARTICLE
chain watch
ARTICLE