New Report Reveals Kansas Must Focus on Youth Cessation and Prevention to Save Lives from Tobacco Use

American Lung Association “State of Tobacco Control” report releases Kansas grades for tobacco control policies, outlines steps to reduce burden of tobacco

A new report from the American Lung Association urges Kansas lawmakers to focus on youth cessation and prevention 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. Kansas received a D grade, up from last year’s grade of an F, for policies to improve statewide efforts to prevent and reduce tobacco use.

“Tobacco use is the leading cause of death in Kansas and across the country and takes the lives of 4,390 state residents each year. The tobacco industry will do anything to protect their profits at the expense of Kansas lives, so we must push forward in our efforts to prevent and reduce tobacco use,” said Sara Prem, Advocacy Director at the American Lung Association in Kansas. “This year, we are working with state policymakers to focus on youth cessation and prevention.

“Despite receiving $175,400,000 from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes, Kansas only funds tobacco control efforts at 12.4% of the level recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Lung Association urges Governor Laura Kelly and the legislature to increase funding for this critical program.”

Kansas’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 2024 report, Kansas received the following grades:

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

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 the mission of the American Lung Association. The Fight For Air Climb in Kansas and Greater Kansas City is coming up on Sunday March 3rd. Learn more at KCClimb.org

*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.

Media Resources:

For more information, contact:

Janye Killelea
312-940-7624
[email protected]

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