HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvania has earned an ‘F’ in Tobacco Prevention and Control Funding, ‘F’ in Tobacco Taxes, and a ‘D’ in Smokefree Air Policies according to a report from the American Lung Association.
The report grades federal and state efforts to reduce tobacco use and calls for meaningful policies to prevent and reduce tobacco use and save lives.
“In Pennsylvania, our adult smoking rates are 17.3% and high school tobacco use rates are 26.7%,” said American Lung Association Director of Advocacy Molly Pisciottano. “The surge in youth vaping combined with the fact that smoking increases the chance of severe COVID-19 symptoms, make it more important than ever for Pennsylvania to implement the proven measures outlined in ‘State of Tobacco Control’ to prevent and reduce tobacco use.”
“State of Tobacco Control” 2021 graded Pennsylvania on the following grades:
- Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F
- Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws – Grade D
- Level of State Tobacco Taxes – Grade F
- Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco – Grade D
- Ending the Sale of All Flavored Tobacco Products – Grade F
“Despite receiving $17,011,745 from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes, Pennsylvania only funds tobacco control efforts at 12.2% of the level recommended by the CDC. The Lung Association believes the funds should be used to support the health of our communities and to prevent tobacco use and help smokers quit, and not switch to e-cigarettes. These programs are also critical for helping to end tobacco-related health disparities,” said Pisciottano.