LAS VEGAS — Nevada failed in its efforts to protect children and curb tobacco-related disease, according to the American Lung Association’s “State of Tobacco Control 2012” report.
The association’s annual report card on tobacco control monitors progress on key tobacco control policies at the federal and state levels and assigns grades to assess whether laws are protecting citizens from the terrible health burden caused by tobacco use.
Nevada received Fs in two of the four areas graded: Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending and Cessation Coverage. The Silver State received a D for its cigarette tax and a C for the state’s smoking restrictions.
“Nevada collected more than $147 million in tobacco revenues last year, yet our state invested zero dollars in tobacco and prevention control. Tough financial times don’t justify a retreat in efforts to fight the leading cause of preventable death,” said Amy Beaulieu, director of Tobacco Control Policy for American Lung Association in Nevada (ALAN). “Tobacco use drives up health care costs. The American Lung Association worked in 2011 to prevent the rollback of certain parts of The Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act, but fell short because of wealthy special interest groups that do not make the public’s health a priority.”
In its tenth annual “State of Tobacco Control” report, six states received all Fs. They were Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. Only four states, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine and Oklahoma, received all passing grades. No state received straight As in the 2012 report.
Many states regressed in 2011. No state passed a strong smoke-free air law, and Nevada weakened its existing law. Washington virtually eliminated a tobacco prevention and quit-smoking program that was previously a national model. For the first year in recent memory, no state increased its tobacco tax significantly, and 13 states and the District of Columbia significantly cut or completely eliminated already meager funding of tobacco control and prevention programs.
Nevada’s report card can be downloaded here: http://cl.ly/352V2w 1D2Q2B2M3H0j1G.