North Dakota Earns Good Grades, Bad Grades On Tobacco
(January 25, 2017) - BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA
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The American Lung Association issued its annual State of Tobacco Control Report today, and North Dakota’s grades were mixed. The states’ two “A” grades for smoke free air and prevention and control program spending were unchanged from last year’s report; it improved a “B” grade for access to cessation, up from last year’s “C.” In two categories, North Dakota earned “F” grades, for tobacco taxes (the state has the 4th lowest cigarette tax in the nation) and for minimum age, a new grade category for this year’s report. Health advocates are supporting raising the minimum age to buy tobacco to 21.
“This report card comes when some lawmakers are trying to eliminate BreatheND, which could kill the momentum we have seen in reducing smoking rates in North Dakota,” said Kristie Wolff, tobacco and advocacy manager for the American Lung Association in North Dakota. “We already know the high cost North Dakotans pay because of tobacco – more than $320 million in health care costs alone. What people might not know is that prevention programs like BreatheND are the most effective and efficient means of reducing smoking rates, and reducing smoking is one of the most effective ways to cut health care and health insurance costs.”
“The people knew what they were doing when they voted to support Measure 3 in 2008.” Wolff added. “It’s only right to use a small portion of the tobacco settlement funds to support effective prevention programs like BreatheND.”
The complete report and state ratings can be found online at stateoftobaccocontrol.org.
About the American Lung Association
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: Lung.org.