23 states get failing grade in tobacco control

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 29, 2007

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While a record 26 states, plus the District of Columbia, received grades of "C" or better for having laws that make workplaces free of tobacco smoke, another 23 states received an "F," according to the American Lung Assn.'s annual review of progress at reducing smoking rates.

Maine was the only state to receive an "A" in the four categories: smoke-free air, tobacco taxes, prevention funding and restrictions on youth access to tobacco.

AMA President-elect Ron Davis, MD, expressed concern about the report's findings. "Reducing exposure to secondhand smoke, which contains more than 50 cancer-causing chemicals, has been shown to reduce heart attacks, asthma and other respiratory diseases. In addition, clean indoor air policies encourage more smokers to quit, which has a positive effect on youth smoking rates."

The report also found that cigarette taxes rose in eight states in 2006, boosting the national average to $1 per pack. In addition, while overall funding for tobacco prevention and cessation increased last year, 34 states were cited for the low amount they spend on these programs.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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