The American Lung Association says Pennsylvania is not adequately funding programs to protect children and cut back on illnesses related to tobacco use.
This comes as a result the recent release of the State of Tobacco Control 2013 report. This is the 11th year for the report which looks at how states and the federal government are spending their money on tobacco control programs.
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Pennsylvania received the following grades for 2012.
- F in Funding for Tobacco Prevention and Control Programs (11% of CDC recommended spending)
- C in Smokefree Air
- C in Cigarette Taxes ($1.60 per pack)
- F in Cessation Coverage
"Pennsylvania must make it a priority to invest in programs that keep kids off tobacco and to help smokers quit,” says Deb Brown, president and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic, in a press release. “That starts with increasing Pennsylvania’s current level of tobacco prevention and cessation funding.”
The American Lung Association estimates tobacco annually
- Causes 20,025 deaths in Pennsylvania
- Costs Pennsylvania $9.4 billion in healthcare costs and lost productivity
- Causes 443,000 deaths in the Unites States
The Lung Association is calling on Pennsylvania to raise taxes on tobacco products other than cigarettes.
“While no state earned an A or B on its report card for cessation, the Affordable Care Act creates new pathways to help smokers quit,” Brown says in a press release. “That is why Pennsylvania must include a cessation benefit in its Essential Health Benefit and Medicaid expansion plans.”
What do you think? Should the state be spending more money on tobacco education programs? Should there be more recources put into cessation programs? Should taxes on tobacco products be raised? Share your thoughts in the comments area below.