American Lung Association Report Gives Arizona Mostly Failing Grades for Tobacco Control Policies

American Lung Association report reveals best and worst states for tobacco control policies, outlines steps to reduce burden of tobacco in Arizona
Arizona lags behind when it comes to policies that prevent and reduce tobacco use, according to the American Lung Association’s 21st annual “State of Tobacco Control” report, released today. The state earned mostly failing grades on this year’s report.

The “State of Tobacco Control” report evaluates state and federal policies on actions taken to eliminate tobacco use and recommends proven-effective tobacco control laws and policies to save lives. This is critical, as tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in America and takes the lives of 8,250 Arizona residents each year.

“Arizona lags behind when it comes to tobacco control policies, and as a result, we have higher than average adult smoking rates at 13.1% and 20.7% of high school students use a tobacco product,” said JoAnna Strother, Senior Director of Advocacy at the American Lung Association in Arizona. “This gives us an important opportunity to improve the health of our state through proven policies, such as creating a tobacco retailer licensing system in order to stop retailers who continuously sell to those under the age”.

Arizona’s Grades 
The “State of Tobacco Control” report grades states and the District of Columbia in five areas that have been proven to prevent and reduce tobacco use and save lives. In the 2023 report, Arizona received the following grades: 

1.    Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F
2.    Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws – Grade A
3.    Level of State Tobacco Taxes – Grade F
4.    Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco – Grade C
5.    Ending the Sale of All Flavored Tobacco Products – Grade F

This year’s report noted the need for Arizona policymakers to focus on tobacco control legislation that will reduce youth access to products and reduce youth tobacco use in Arizona. Arizona is one of a handful of states without a tobacco retail license, making it impossible to track where tobacco is being sold and leaves the state without effective tools to hold retailers accountable for illegal sales to those under the age of sale.

 
Federal Grades Overview
The report also grades the federal government on their efforts to eliminate tobacco use. This year, there were new steps taken by the government to prevent and reduce tobacco use, including proposed rules to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, Congress passing a law requiring the FDA to regulate tobacco products made with synthetic nicotine, and increased federal enforcement of the Tobacco Control Act. As a result of these steps forward, the federal government’s grade for “Federal Regulation of Tobacco Products” improved from a “D” grade last year, to a “C” grade in the 2023 report.

The 2023 “State of Tobacco Control” report grades the federal government in five areas: 
•    Federal Government Regulation of Tobacco Products – Grade C
•    Federal Coverage of Quit Smoking Treatments – Grade D
•    Level of Federal Tobacco Taxes – Grade F
•    Federal Mass Media Campaigns to Prevent and Reduce Tobacco Use – Grade A
•    Federal Minimum Age of Sale for Tobacco Products to 21 – Incomplete

FDA is overdue in publishing the final Tobacco 21 regulations as required by statute, which is why it earns an “incomplete.”  

To learn more about this year’s “State of Tobacco Control” grades and take action, visit Lung.org/sotc.
For more information, contact:

Arizona Media Contact

[email protected]

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