American Lung Association Report Shows 2007 Shaping Up to be a Banner Year for Tobacco Control Policies

Mid-Year Update Details Progress to Date in 2007; 7 States Significantly Strengthened Smokefree Air Laws, 8 Raised Tobacco Taxes

New York, NY (July 24, 2007)

In 2007, many states have taken strong action to protect their citizens from tobacco by making public places and workplaces smokefree, raising tobacco taxes, and passing laws to protect citizens from cigarette-caused fires, according to a report released today by the American Lung Association.

In the 2007 Mid-Term Update to its publication State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues or SLATI, the Lung Association summarizes state tobacco control laws enacted in 2007 on smokefree air, tobacco taxes, smoking prevention spending and fire-safety standards for cigarettes among other issues. 

“In January 2006, the American Lung Association issued its Smokefree Air 2010 Challenge, urging all states to adopt strong smokefree air laws.  The 2007 SLATI Mid-Term Report shows significant progress continues to be made. 22 states and the District of Columbia have laws fully protecting their citizens from secondhand smoke. We challenge policymakers in the remaining states to do the same,” said Bernadette A. Toomey, President and CEO of the American Lung Association.

Also in 2007, eight states have increased their cigarette taxes, already matching the total for all of 2006.  Forty-three states and the District of Columbia have increased their cigarette tax at least once since 2002.  “We are encouraged that states continue to increase tobacco taxes, which makes cigarettes more costly. Higher cigarette prices deter young people from starting to smoke and help motivate adult smokers to quit,” said Toomey.

An increasing number of states have approved legislation setting fire-safety standards for cigarettes.  Twelve states have approved this legislation in 2007, and three more states have legislation awaiting action by the governor.  “This legislation is vital in the fight to reduce the 700 to 900 deaths annually from fires caused by cigarettes and other smoking materials,” she added.

A PDF copy of 2007 SLATI Mid-Term Report is available online.  This website is also the home of the online version of SLATI, which is updated on a regular basis to reflect changes in state tobacco control laws throughout the year.

About the American Lung Association
Beginning our second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to prevent lung disease and promote lung health. Lung disease death rates continue to increase while other leading causes of death have declined. The American Lung Association funds vital research on the causes of and treatments for lung disease. With the generous support of the public, the American Lung Association is “Improving life, one breath at a time.” For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or log on to
www.lung.org.

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