American Lung Association 'State of Tobacco Control' Report Finds Wyoming is Failing to Prevent and Reduce Tobacco Use
Wyoming earns an "F" on tobacco prevention and cessation
(January 30, 2019) - CHEYENNE, Wyo.
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Tobacco use remains Wyoming's and the nation's leading cause of preventable death and disease, taking an estimated 480,000 lives every year in the U.S. This year's "State of Tobacco Control" report from the American Lung Association finds that Wyoming earned failing grades on its efforts to reduce and prevent tobacco use. The American Lung Association calls on the Wyoming legislature to increase taxes on tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices.
The need for Wyoming to protect youth from tobacco is more urgent than ever, with youth e-cigarette use reaching epidemic levels due to a 78 percent increase in high school e-cigarette use from 2017 to 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This equals one million additional kids beginning to use e-cigarettes, placing their developing bodies at risk from the chemicals in e-cigarettes, as well as a lifetime of deadly addiction.
"Tobacco use is a serious addiction and we need to invest in the proven measures to prevent and reduce tobacco use," said Carrie Nyssen, Senior Director of Advocacy for the American Lung Association in Wyoming. "The evidence shows how to reduce tobacco use rates – we just need the political will to implement policies like increasing tobacco taxes."
The 17th annual "State of Tobacco Control" report grades states and the federal government on policies proven to prevent and reduce tobacco use, and finds that Wyoming earns the following grades:
- Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F
- Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws - Grade F
- Level of State Tobacco Taxes - Grade F
- Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco - Grade D
- Minimum Age of Sale for Tobacco Products to 21 – Grade F
Increasing tobacco taxes is one of the best ways to reduce smoking rates and delay initiation of tobacco use by youth. Providing adequate funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs is also crucial to reduce the health harms of tobacco use. Despite Wyoming receiving approximately $40 million from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes, the state does not fund tobacco control efforts at levels recommended by the CDC.
For media interested in speaking with an expert about the "State of Tobacco Control" report, lung health, tobacco use and tobacco control policies, contact [email protected] or 206-512-3292.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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