1. Substantially increase the costs of tobacco products including electronic smoking devices;
2. Strengthen Florida's smokefree air law by removing the exemption for stand-alone bars; and
3. Increase tobacco control funding to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-recommended levels.
During the 2016 legislative session, the American Lung Association in Florida was able to protect funding for Tobacco Free Florida and increase the total budget for the program to $67,753,019. The American Lung Association in Florida will continue to ensure that the allocation of these dollars follows CDC's Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs, are competitively procured, and that rigorous performance measures are included in any contracts managed by the Florida Department of Health.
Florida's program continues to be committed to provide people who smoke a wide variety of services free of charge. In addition to the $14.3 million allocated for quitline services, the program dedicates an additional $7.6 million for in-person cessation counseling. During the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, over 20,000 tobacco users received tobacco cessation services from the in-person option.
The American Lung Association in Florida is the lead agency of the Florida Tobacco Cessation Alliance, whose goal is to educate employers on the health and economic benefits of providing tobacco cessation coverage for their workforce. In partnership with the Florida Department of Health, the Alliance maintains an educational website and works statewide, as well as with the 67 county tobacco-free partnerships, on this important health initiative. The Alliance launched a business recognition program which provides an award for employers who provide tobacco cessation coverage through their health plans.
During 2017, the American Lung Association in Florida will continue to ensure the state has a highly effective and well-funded tobacco prevention and control program, vigilantly work to improve the Clean Indoor Air Act and work to significantly increase the cost of tobacco products.