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Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and in Idaho. To address this enormous toll, the American Lung Association calls for the following actions to be taken by Idaho's elected officials:

  1. Increase funding for tobacco prevention and control work in Idaho;
  2. Raise the legal sale age for tobacco products to 21; and
  3. Pass comprehensive smokefree air laws at the local and statewide levels.
During the 2018 legislative session, funding for tobacco control programs including tobacco cessation and tobacco prevention was dramatically reduced. In total, tobacco prevention and cessation initiatives funded by the Idaho Millennium Fund dropped from about $4.7 million in fiscal year 2018 to about $3.45 million in fiscal year 2019. The Idaho Millennium Fund is where Idaho's Master Settlement Agreement dollars are directed. The American Lung Association in Idaho will continue to work with elected officials to advocate for increased funding to keep Idaho youth from picking up their first cigarette or e-cigarette and to help those who already use tobacco and nicotine products to quit.

The effort to raise Idaho's legal sale age for tobacco products to 21 was also introduced during the 2018 legislative session and was narrowly defeated in the Senate State Affairs Committee. The Lung Association and other coalition partners will continue to educate communities and elected officials about the importance of this tool in reducing youth tobacco use and improving the health of our communities and our state.

As a member of the Smoke Free Idaho coalition, the American Lung Association in Idaho continues to advocate for the adoption of local smokefree ordinances throughout the state. More progress needs to be made at passing local smokefree ordinances before a statewide law is pursued.

The American Lung Association in Idaho will continue working to increase appropriations for tobacco prevention and cessation programs, to raise the legal sale of tobacco products to 21, and to expand local smokefree ordinances in 2019

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