Wyoming Fails to Protect Citizens from Tobacco-Caused Disease and Death

(January 16, 2013)

Contact: Carrie Nyssen

Wyoming Fails to Protect Citizens from Tobacco-Caused Disease and Death
New American Lung Association Report Follows Money Trail to See How Tobacco
Industry Addicts Kids

(CHEYENNE, WY) [EMBARGOED UNTIL: 5 a.m. (EST), January 16, 2013]– Wyoming took
steps forward to reduce tobacco use in some areas, but fell short in other policies
according to the American Lung Association’s “State of Tobacco Control 2013” report
released today.

The Lung Association’s “State of Tobacco Control” report tracks progress on key tobacco
control policies at the federal and state level, assigning grades based on whether laws
are adequately protecting citizens from the enormous toll tobacco use takes on lives
and the economy.

The 11th annual report shows how money is often at the root of the leading cause of
preventable death, as state and federal policymakers’ efforts fall short against a deeppocketed,
ever-evolving tobacco industry.

Wyoming received the following grades for 2012:
C - Tobacco Prevention and Control Program Funding
F - Smokefree Air
F - Cigarette Tax
C - Cessation Coverage

“Wyoming does a better job than most states in providing funding for tobacco
prevention programs and providing cessation benefits,” said Carrie Nyssen, Regional
Director of Advocacy for the American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific. “Yet,
there’s more we can do to protect our youth from tobacco.”

Tobacco causes an estimated 700 deaths in Wyoming annually and costs the state’s
economy $315 million in healthcare costs and lost productivity, a tremendous burden
that our state can ill afford.

Wyoming receives $45 million in tobacco-related revenue annually, investing sixty
percent of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends should be
spent on tobacco prevention and cessation programs. The failure of states across the
U.S. to invest in policies and programs to reduce tobacco use has resulted in 3 million
new youth and young smokers in the United States, according to the Surgeon General’s
2012 report.

The National Institute on Money in State Politics released a report today in conjunction
with “State of Tobacco Control 2013” called “Big Tobacco Wins Tax Battles,” revealing
preliminary data showing that tobacco manufacturers and retailers gave $53.4 million to
state candidates for office, political parties and to oppose tobacco-related ballot
measures during the 2011-2012 election cycle. This figure includes spending over $46
million to defeat California’s initiative to increase the cigarette tax by $1.00 per pack.
Tobacco manufacturers and retailers gave significant amounts of money to candidates
in the following states: California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana and Missouri.

Tobacco companies continue to introduce and promote new products, such as candyflavored
cigars and dissolvable tobacco products. Youth, people who are low income,
Hispanics and LGBT individuals who smoke cigars are more likely to smoke flavored
cigars, according to a recent study in Nicotine and Tobacco Research. Meanwhile, the
sales and popularity of these tobacco products have surged in large part due to their
cheaper price. Each day, roughly 3,000 youths smoke a cigar for the first time. The
American Lung Association in Wyoming calls on Wyoming to raise taxes on cigarettes
and on other tobacco products to achieve tax parity.

“Increasing our tobacco tax is a WIN-WIN for Wyoming,” said Ms. Nyssen. “It keeps
youth from ever starting to use tobacco and generates revenue to offset the costs of
treating those affected by tobacco.”

“It’s time Wyoming removes Big Tobacco’s welcome mat,” said Ms. Nyssen. “Leaders in
Cheyenne should take a serious look at increasing tobacco taxes.”


About the American Lung Association in Wyoming
The American Lung Association in Wyoming is a non-profit, voluntary public health
organization, working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease
in Wyoming. Our programs focus on the areas of asthma, clean air, tobacco prevention,
and lung disease.

For more information about the American Lung Association in Wyoming or to support
the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA or visit: www.lung.org/wyoming.