American Lung Association’s ‘State of Tobacco Control 2016’ Report Finds Colorado Failing in Efforts to Save Lives by Reducing Tobacco Use | American Lung Association

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American Lung Association’s ‘State of Tobacco Control 2016’ Report Finds Colorado Failing in Efforts to Save Lives by Reducing Tobacco Use

(February 3, 2016) - Denver, CO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  |  Date: 02/01/16

CONTACT: Curt Huber  |  American Lung Association in Colorado

P: 303-388-4327

 E: CHuber@Lungs.org 

American Lung Association’s ‘State of Tobacco Control 2016’ Report Finds Colorado Failing in Efforts to Save Lives by Reducing Tobacco Use

DENVER (February 3, 2016) – Today, the American Lung Association released its 14th annual “State of Tobacco Control” report that found in 2015 Colorado failed to enact tobacco control policies that will save lives. The report also finds Colorado is not alone, as most states and the federal government earned poor grades, and the high level of youth use of tobacco products other than cigarettes threatens to undermine the United States’ overall progress in the fight against tobacco-caused death and disease. 

“Colorado is missing a clear opportunity to save lives by not taking action to prevent and reduce tobacco use. We must also face the reality that youth use of other tobacco products nationwide like e-cigarettes and little cigars is at an all-time high,” said Curt Huber, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Colorado. “Nearly a quarter of high school students are using tobacco products, and it is crucial that Colorado take aggressive action to reduce all tobacco use – the #1 cause of preventable death and disease in our nation.”

The “State of Tobacco Control” report evaluates tobacco control policies at the state and federal level, and assigns grades based on whether laws protect citizens from the enormous toll tobacco use takes on lives. 

“State of Tobacco Control 2016” finds Colorado failing grades show that urgent action is needed by our Governor and State Legislature to pass proven policies that will reduce tobacco use and save lives:

· Tobacco Prevention and Control Program Funding – Grade F

· Tobacco Taxes - Grade F

· Smokefree Air - Grade A

· Access to Cessation Services - Grade C

The American Lung Association in Colorado calls on Colorado to act on increasing tobacco taxes which currently stands at 76 cents below the national average. Significant increases in tobacco taxes are a proven way to prevent and reduce tobacco use and have been endorsed as a public health strategy by the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The consensus among researchers is that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces consumption by about 4 percent among adults and about 7 percent among youth. 

As of January 31, 2016, the Obama Administration had not yet given the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight authority over all tobacco products including cigars, e-cigarettes, little cigars and hookah (commonly referred to as the deeming rule). The grade of “I” for Incomplete for FDA Regulation of Tobacco Products is assigned because the final rule is expected at any time. Other federal grades include a “C” for Federal Cessation Coverage, an “F” for Tobacco Taxes and a “B” for its Mass Media Campaigns, a new grading area in this year’s “State of Tobacco Control” report. 

“It’s not a secret how we can reduce tobacco use in this country. ‘State of Tobacco Control 2016’ looks at proven methods to save lives and prevent our children from becoming the next generation hooked on tobacco,” said Huber. “We must demand that our elected officials in Colorado urgently act to implement these proven policies to save lives.”

For media interested in speaking with an expert about the “State of Tobacco Control” report, lung health, tobacco use and tobacco control policies, contact JoAnna Strother, Regional Director of Public Policy, American Lung Association of the Southwest, at JStrother@Lungs.org or 602-429-0002. 

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About the American Lung Association in Colorado 

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and 

tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit the newly redesigned website: Lung.org.

American Lung Association in Colorado l 5600 Greenwood Plaza Blvd, Suite 100  |  Greenwood Village, CO 80111

1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) www.Lung.org

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