DENVER, CO | January 24, 2024
A new report from the American Lung Association urges Colorado lawmakers to focus on adequately funding tobacco prevention programs to 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. Colorado received one A grade, one B, one C, and two Fs for policies to improve statewide efforts to prevent and reduce tobacco use.
“Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in Colorado and across the country and takes the lives of more than 5,000 Coloradans each year. We know that the tobacco industry will do everything they can to grow their profits and addict more people to their deadly products. So, we must redouble our efforts to prevent and reduce tobacco use,” said Nick Torres, advocacy director at the American Lung Association in Colorado. “This year, we will work with state policymakers to highlight the importance of continued investments in tobacco prevention. Despite receiving more than $437 million from tobacco master settlement payments and tobacco taxes, Colorado funds tobacco control efforts at less than half the rate recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Lung Association urges Governor Jared Polis and the Colorado General Assembly to increase funding for these critical programs.”
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, Colorado 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 C
- Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco – Grade A
- 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 Colorado. The Affair for Air Gala takes place at The Westin Denver – Downtown on Saturday, March 9, 2024. Visit the Gala website for more information.
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.
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