North Dakota Earns Higher Marks In Annual Tobacco Report

(January 16, 2013)

BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota earned two “A” grades in the latest American Lung Association “State of Tobacco Control Report. The high marks were for funding state tobacco control and prevention programs above the amount recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and for the passage of a comprehensive indoor smoking ban last year. In Last year’s report, North Dakota’s restaurant-only law earned a “C” grade.

Two other grades remained unchanged from last year’s report: an “F’ grade for cigarette taxes (currently 44 cents per pack, among the lowest in the region), and a “C” grade for helping state employees and North Dakotans on Medicare quit smoking.

While pleased with the progress, a spokesperson for the American Lung Association in North Dakota stressed the need to do more. “Raising the cigarette tax would have an immediate and positive impact on efforts to help keep young people away from tobacco,” said Kimberlee Schneider. “Research has proven that the price plays a big role in reducing youth use of tobacco products, and we should use every proven tool and strategy available to prevent kids from starting to smoke and motivating current smokers to quit.”

A link to the complete report is available online at www.stateoftobaccocontrol.org.