Fed’s Antismoking Efforts Get Passing Grade
But Most States Continue to 'Fail Miserably,' Spokesman Says
Eight States Get All F's
The state-by-state report card included grades in four key areas: coverage of tobacco control programs at funding levels recommended by the CDC, coverage of smoking cessation treatments, passage of smoke-free air laws, and cigarette tax rates.
Although no state received straight A’s, Arkansas, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, and Vermont had the best scores overall.
Eight states received all F’s: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Other state-by-state highlights:
- The three states that made the most progress in 2010 were Hawaii, which increased funding for tobacco prevention programs; Utah, which raised state cigarette taxes by $1; and Montana, which extended smoking cessation coverage to state employees.
- 40 states and the District of Columbia received F’s for failing to fund tobacco control programs at 50% or more of the level recommended by the CDC.
- Just two states, North Dakota and Alaska, fund such programs at 80% of the level recommended by the CDC.
- The passage of state smoke-free air laws has slowed to a virtual halt. About half the states now have comprehensive laws aimed at protecting the public and workers from smoke. Only one new state, Kansas, passed such a law in 2010.
The report, along with state-by-state scores and analysis, can be found on the ALA’s web site, www.lungusa.org.
Report: ‘Industry Deception Continues’
The report was highly critical of the tobacco industry, charging that manufacturers continue to deceive smokers and look for ways to circumvent new laws restricting cigarette sales and marketing.
Among the specific charges:
- Now that cigarette packaging can no longer use descriptors like “light,” “mild,” and “low-tar,” manufacturers have begun to color-code their packaging so that consumers will associate a specific color with the banned descriptor.
- The report specifically cited Marlboro Lights, now sold as Marlboro Gold, which are the top-selling “light” cigarettes in the U.S. Shortly before the ban went into effect, Marlboro manufacturer Altria ran ads telling customers “Your Marlboro Lights package is changing, but your cigarette stays the same.”
- Tobacco companies have introduced new smokeless tobacco products bearing the same name brands as their most popular cigarettes. They have increased the marketing budgets for these products. According to the CDC, the use of smokeless tobacco products increased by 36% among high school boys between 2003 and 2009.
Conner called the new smokeless tobacco products a blatant example of how the industry is attempting to get young people addicted.
“The industry found new ways in 2010 to market its products and target kids so it could make up for older customers who either died or successfully quit,” he said.
State-by-State Smoking Cessation Coverage Grades
No state provides comprehensive coverage for smoking cessation, so none received an A on the report card.
States with a B Grade:
States with a C Grade:
States with a D Grade:
District of Columbia
States with an F Grade: