American Lung Association Report Shows More States Took Strong Action to Protect Citizens from Tobacco Use in 2007
Five More States Passed Comprehensive Smokefree Laws, Eight Raised Tobacco Taxes
According to a report released today by the American Lung Association, a growing number of states are protecting citizens from tobacco use and secondhand smoke by making public places and workplaces smokefree, and by raising tobacco taxes.
In its annual update of State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues or SLATI, now in its 20th year of publication, the American Lung Association tracks the passage of legislation and other state policies related to tobacco control and prevention, including tobacco taxes, youth access and funding for tobacco control programs. SLATI is the only resource of its kind in tobacco control today, and is also available online at http://slati.lungusa.org. This website is updated regularly to reflect changes in tobacco control laws as they take effect.
“Significant progress has been made in the last year towards protecting people across the country from toxic secondhand smoke. Five states took this crucial step to protect public health in 2007. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have now stepped up to the American Lung Association’s Smokefree Air 2010 Challenge by adopting comprehensive laws prohibiting smoking in workplaces, restaurants and bars,” said Bernadette A. Toomey, President and CEO of the American Lung Association.
In January 2006, the American Lung Association issued its Smokefree Air 2010 Challenge, calling on all states to pass comprehensive smokefree laws no later than 2010.
Eight states passed increases in their tobacco taxes in 2007, bringing the average state cigarette tax up to $1.11 a pack. This is a dramatic increase from the beginning of 2002 when the average tax was only 44.6 cents per pack. The revenue from tobacco taxes sometimes funds state tobacco control programs. However, only six states – Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine and Montana – have met the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended funding level for these vital public health programs in fiscal year 2008.
“Higher cigarette prices help prevent children from starting to smoke and motivate adults to quit. The revenue can and should be used to fund state tobacco control programs in order to save even more lives from the death and disease caused by tobacco use,” explained Toomey.
A PDF version of SLATI 2007 is available online at http://slati.lungusa.org. Production of SLATI 2007 is supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey.
SLATI 2007 complements a report released in January 2008, the American Lung Association State of Tobacco Control 2007 report, which grades state tobacco control laws. For more information and to view that report, visit: http://www.stateoftobaccocontrol.org.
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