American Lung Association Report Shows More States Taking Strong Action To Protect Citizens from Tobacco Use

Annual Report Tracks State Tobacco Control Laws; In 2006, 9 States and DC Strengthened Smokefree Air Laws, 8 Raised Tobacco Taxes

(May 29, 2007)

New York, NY (May 24, 2007) – A growing number of states are taking strong action to protect their citizens from tobacco by making almost all public places and workplaces smokefree and raising tobacco taxes, according to a report released today by the American Lung Association.

In its annual update of State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues or SLATI (published since 1988), the Lung Association analyzes state tobacco control laws enacted in 2006 on smokefree air, youth access, tobacco taxes and tobacco prevention spending, among other issues.  The report is the only resource of its kind in tobacco control today summarizing state tobacco control laws on an annual basis.

“In January 2006, we issued our American Lung Association Smokefree Air 2010 Challenge, urging all states to adopt strong smokefree air laws.  SLATI 2006 shows significant progress has been made as 16 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws fully protecting their citizens from secondhand smoke as of January 2, 2007.  We challenge policymakers in every state to do the same,” said John L. Kirkwood, President and CEO of the American Lung Association.

Also during 2006, eight states increased their cigarette taxes.  This caused the state cigarette tax average to cross the $1.00 per pack threshold.  “We also are encouraged that more states are raising tobacco taxes, which makes cigarettes more costly. Higher cigarette prices deter children and youth from starting to smoke and help motivate adult smokers to quit,” he said.

A PDF copy of SLATI 2006 is available online at http://slati.lungusa.org.  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.

SLATI 2006 compliments a report released in January 2007, the American Lung Association State of Tobacco Control 2006 report, which grades state tobacco control laws. For more information on that report, go to: http://www.lung.org.

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.