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Arizona's Tobacco Report Card Shows Room for Improvement

The American Lung Association recently gave each of the 50 states a report card on their tobacco-control policies. (Wikimedia Commons)
The American Lung Association recently gave each of the 50 states a report card on their tobacco-control policies. (Wikimedia Commons)
February 8, 2016

PHOENIX – When it comes to protecting people from secondhand smoke, the American Lung Association gave Arizona high marks in a recent report.

But in other key areas of tobacco control, such as smoking prevention, tobacco taxes and smoking cessation programs, the state has a lot of room to improve.

JoAnna Strother, director of public policy for the American Lung Association of the Southwest, says Arizona doesn't spend enough on prevention.

"In Arizona, they spend about 27 percent of what CDC recommends,” she points out. “We simply just aren't spending the amount of money we need to be in helping people to quit and helping our youth to not initiate."

Strother says Arizona got an A grade for having strong laws to protect people from secondhand smoke. But she says the state earned an F in both funding smoking prevention programs and the amount and type of taxes it levies on various tobacco products.

Arizona's ASHLine and improved Medicaid access to other stop-smoking plans earned it a C for cessation programs.

Strother adds that while many other states earned higher grades than Arizona, the country as a whole could be doing a lot better.

"We're seeing that there's a lot more that we can be doing in helping people to quit smoking, or protecting those from secondhand smoke, or protecting our youth from starting,” she states. “So, across the board, there's a lot of work to be done."

The American Lung Association recently rated all 50 states on using tobacco control criteria developed by the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Mark Richardson, Public News Service - AZ