1. Pass a comprehensive statewide smokefree law that protects all workers and patrons from secondhand smoke;
2. Increase funding for the Alabama tobacco prevention and control program; and
3. Increase the tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Tobacco prevention and control legislation was once again not a priority for the members of the Alabama Legislature in 2016. The Alabama Legislature continues to have a residual lack of support for tobacco control measures, such as a statewide smokefree law or supporting increased funding for tobacco control and prevention programs.
Local municipalities continue to take the lead on public health issues by passing strong smokefree ordinances. The Lung Association played a leading role in securing smokefree protections for all workers and residents in local municipalities across the state, including the city of Mountain Brook. Tobacco control partners are very engaged with community education on the dangers of secondhand smoke across Alabama.
In 2017, the American Lung Association in Alabama will continue to educate state legislators about the benefits of tobacco control policies and programs, including a statewide smokefree law and increased funding for the tobacco control program. In order to reduce the death and disease caused by tobacco use in Alabama, state legislators will need to recognize the health and economic burden of tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke and enact public health protections and invest in evidence-based tobacco prevention programs. The Lung Association will continue to work with partners in the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Alabama to ensure successful passage and preservation of comprehensive local smokefree ordinances.