While Indiana legislators debate a statewide smokefree air bill, the state continues to fail in tobacco control policies, according to the American Lung Association’s State of Tobacco Control 2010 Report.
“When states earn failing grades, the result is human tragedy,” noted Lindsay Grace, manger of Advocacy for the American Lung Association and member of the Indiana Campaign for Smokefree Air. “The report card clearly shows what Indiana can do to better protect its citizens from the dangers of secondhand smoke.”
The report tracks each state’s progress on key tobacco control policies at the federal and state levels, assigning grades based on whether laws are adequately protecting citizens from tobacco-caused disease.
For the second straight year, Indiana earned an “F” in tobacco prevention and control spending, smokefree air restrictions in public places and cessation coverage, but received a “D” grade for cigarette taxes. Indiana’s cigarette tax is $.995, one of the lowest in the nation. The average national cigarette tax is $1.45.
In 2009, the state earned a “C” in cessation coverage because it was one of six states that covered all seven cessation medications for Medicaid patients. The ranking was reduced in 2010 because more states either offered the same or more cessation benefits.
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Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation offers more information on its website.
Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia also received failing grades. Only Ohio, Michigan and Illinois earned A’s and B’s. No state earned straight “A’s.”
States are graded on how their tobacco laws compare to other states or to goals set by federal agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The ISMA supports HB 1018, which has passed the House of Representatives. See Legislative News for details.
Read the full report on the lung USA website.