Providence, RI | January 24, 2023
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 1,780 Rhode Island residents each year.
“Unlike our neighbors in Massachusetts, Rhode Island is now lagging behind when it comes to tobacco control policies,” said Daniel Fitzgerald, Director of Advocacy at the American Lung Association in Rhode Island. “Our legislators have an important opportunity to improve the health of our state through proven policies, such as adequately funding the State’s Tobacco Control Program, ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products, and ensuring that casinos are a smokefree workplace and venue for all Rhode Islanders.”
Rhode Island’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, Rhode Island received the following grades:
- Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F
- Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws – Grade A
- Level of State Tobacco Taxes – Grade B
- Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco – Grade B
- Ending the Sale of All Flavored Tobacco Products – Grade D
In addition, Rhode Island leaders must act to create tax parity for all tobacco products, comprehensive smokefree workplace legislation that includes casinos, and legislation that established pharmacists prescribing authority for FDA-approved cessation medication.
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
To learn more about this year’s “State of Tobacco Control” grades and take action, visit Lung.org/sotc.
Media Resources available by request at [email protected]
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