While Smoking Rates Decline Nationwide, Nevada Lags Behind in Efforts to Reduce Tobacco Use, Save Lives, New American Lung Association Report Finds
2018 ‘State of Tobacco Control’ report finds Nevada lawmakers can do more to reduce tobacco use by passing comprehensive smokefree laws
(January 24, 2018) -
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The American Lung Association’s 2018 “State of Tobacco Control” report, which grades states and the federal government on policies to prevent and reduce tobacco use, finds that Nevada lags significantly behind the nation in these efforts. The 16th annual report suggests that state policymakers should pass a comprehensive smokefree laws and increase funding for tobacco prevent and control programs.
“Nationwide, smoking rates have continued to decline to historically low levels, yet tobacco use remains the nation’s leading cause of preventable death and disease killing over 480,000 Americans each year,” said Kristina Crawford, executive director of the American Lung Association in Nevada. “Tobacco use is a serious addiction, and the fact that 18 percent of adults in Nevada are current smokers highlights how much work remains to be done in our communities to prevent and reduce tobacco use.”
This year’s “State of Tobacco Control” finds Gov. Brian Sandoval and the state legislature are failing to enact proven policies that will reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke and save lives:
• Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F
• Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws - Grade C
• Level of State Tobacco Taxes - Grade F
• Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco - Grade F
• Minimum Age of Sale for Tobacco Products to 21 – Grade F
The American Lung Association in Nevada calls on state policy makers to act on the following priority areas in 2018 to meet state goals:
• There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and Nevada workers across the state would benefit from a comprehensive smokefree law that eliminates smoking in all public places and workplaces, workers across the state would benefit. This is especially critical for those who work in the service and manufacturing sectors who are often exposed to secondhand smoke daily. A person should not have to be exposed to the dangers of secondhand smoke to put food on the table.
• Nevada’s new state budget, approved during the 2017 legislative session, included a five percent cut to the state’s tobacco prevention and cessation program. The $950,000 amount remains far below what is needed to prevent and reduce tobacco use in Nevada, so the American Lung Association will continue to look for opportunities to increase funding that could target these programs to communities that still use tobacco at higher rates.
“We know how to reduce tobacco use in this country. ‘State of Tobacco Control’ looks at proven methods to save lives and protect the health of all Americans,” Crawford said. “Nevada elected officials must act to implement these proven policies, which will prevent tobacco-caused death and disease, and help keep our lungs healthy.”
About the American Lung Association in Nevada
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.