1. Increase funding to the Division of Tobacco Use Prevention & Control to 2008 levels ($12.29 million);
2. Reduce exposure to secondhand smoke through comprehensive smokefree and tobacco-free laws and policies in all public places; and
3. Increase the price of tobacco products through cigarette and other tobacco product taxes.
In 2016, the American Lung Association in Iowa advocated to maintain funding for the Iowa Department of Public Health, Division of Tobacco Use Prevention & Control budget. Iowa's Tobacco Use Prevention & Control Division begins Fiscal Year 2017 with a budget of $5.25 million. This is a decrease from the 2016 budget of $5.53 million. In 2008, division funding was at its highest with $12.29 million.
A large push by our partners to close the casino loophole in Iowa's Smokefree Air Act was supported by the American Lung Association in Iowa. A committee meeting was held, where ultimately the bill did not move forward. At the local level, three cities and one county in Iowa implemented local ordinances to include electronic cigarettes in the Iowa Smokefree Air Act. As of the end of 2016, four cities and one county had enacted local ordinances. Momentum continues to build to prohibit the use electronic cigarettes in public spaces at the local and state level.
In 2017, the American Lung Association in Iowa, along with our partners, will continue to advocate for increased funding to the Division of Tobacco Use Prevention & Control to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended levels. With this funding, we can reduce the burden of lung disease and prevent tobacco-related deaths from occurring. In addition to funding, we will continue to place focus on an increase in cigarette and other tobacco product taxes and closing loopholes in the state Smokefree Air Act.