Arizona Earns Mostly Failing Grades for Tobacco Control Policies; Experts Recommend Focus Creating a Tobacco Retail Licensing SystemAmerican Lung Association “State of Tobacco Control” report releases Arizona grades for tobacco control policies, outlines steps to reduce burden of tobacco.
PHOENIX, AZ | January 24, 2024
A new report from the American Lung Association urges Arizona lawmakers to focus on creating a tobacco retailer licensing system to help reduce the burden of tobacco use. The 2024 “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. Arizona received 3 F grades, one C and one B grade for policies to improve statewide efforts to prevent and reduce tobacco use.
“Tobacco use is the leading cause of death in Arizona and across the country, taking the lives of 8,250 Arizona residents each year. The tobacco industry will do anything to protect their profits at the expense of Arizona lives, so we must push forward in our efforts to prevent and reduce tobacco use,” said JoAnna Strother, Senior Director of Advocacy at the American Lung Association in Arizona “This year, we are working with state policymakers to focus on creating a tobacco retailer licensing system in order to stop retailers who continuously sell to those under the age,” 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.
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 2024 report, Arizona received the following grades:
- Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F*
- Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws – Grade B
- Level of State Tobacco Taxes – Grade F
- Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco – Grade C
- Ending the Sale of All Flavored Tobacco Products – Grade F
*State Funding for Tobacco Prevention Programs grades in “State of Tobacco Control” reflect actions taken by elected officials and do not reflect on the hard work of state tobacco control programs or advocates.
Federal Grades Overview
This year’s report focuses on recent federal actions, including President Biden’s failure to finalize rules to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, as well as FDA’s overdue review of all applications for e-cigarette products, including flavors that are popular among youth. Because of the delay on the federal rules to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, it is even more important for states to enact laws to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products.
The 2024 “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 remains grossly overdue in publishing the final Tobacco 21 regulations as required by statute, which is why it earns an “incomplete.”
The Lung Association calls on the White House to urgently finalize rules to end the sales of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars in the U.S. to save lives now. Send an email to President Biden at Lung.org/Stop-Menthol to insist these rules be finalized urgently. To learn more about this year’s “State of Tobacco Control” grades and take action, visit Lung.org/sotc.
Get involved and help further the mission of the American Lung Association in Arizona today by registering for the Fight For Air Climb at Scottsdale Stadium on April 5, 2024. For more info, please visit ClimbPhoenix.org.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.
A Breath of Fresh Air in Your Inbox
Join over 700,000 people who receive the latest news about lung health, including research, lung disease, air quality, quitting tobacco, inspiring stories and more!
You will now receive email updates from the American Lung Association.