20th Annual ‘State of Tobacco Control’ Report Reveals Idaho Still Lags Behind on Policies to Reduce Tobacco Use

New report reveals Idaho tobacco control successes over past 20 years, and outlines path to end tobacco use and save lives.

The American Lung Association’s 20th annual “State of Tobacco Control” report, released today, reveals significant progress in the work to end tobacco use, but products like e-cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, create concern for losing another generation to nicotine addiction. The report finds that Idaho earned average and failing grades on passing policies to reduce and prevent tobacco use, including e-cigarettes. 

The “State of Tobacco Control” report evaluates state and federal policymakers on actions taken to eliminate tobacco use, the nation’s leading cause of preventable death. The report recommends proven-effective tobacco control laws and policies to save lives. The 2022 “State of Tobacco Control” reveals that the country has made substantial progress in advancing tobacco control policies over the past 20 years, including comprehensive smokefree laws in more states, increased tobacco taxes across the nation and more Americans with access to treatments to help them quit smoking through state Medicaid programs. 

Idaho lawmakers have made some progress to reduce tobacco use. Workers are protected from secondhand smoke in many workplaces and many Idahoans have access to quit programs; however, there is more work to be done. The smoking rate is still 13.56, and the high school tobacco use rate is 22.8%. 

“Tobacco use remains our leading cause of preventable death and disease, taking an estimated 1,800 lives each year,” said Heather Kimmel, Division Director for Health Promotions at the American Lung Association in Idaho. “And our progress on tobacco control policy has not been equal. We continue to see the unequal burden of tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke in communities experiencing health disparities.”

Idaho’s Grades

“State of Tobacco Control” 2022 grades states and the District of Columbia in five areas that have been proven to prevent and reduce tobacco use and save lives. Idaho received the following grades: 

1.    Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F
2.    Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws – Grade C
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 Idaho policymakers to focus on supporting comprehensive smokefree laws and opposing limitations on local tobacco control authority.

“The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke,” said Kimmel. “Passing and protecting comprehensive smokefree laws that eliminate smoking in all public places and workplaces, including bars and casinos, would protect workers across the state from deadly secondhand smoke. E-cigarettes should also be included in comprehensive smokefree laws.”

Federal Grades Overview

“State of Tobacco Control” 2022 also grades the federal government in five areas: 

•    Federal Government Regulation of Tobacco Products (2022 grade – D)
•    Federal Coverage of Quit Smoking Treatments (2022 grade – D)
•    Level of Federal Tobacco Taxes (2022 grade – F)
•    Federal Mass Media Campaigns to Prevent and Reduce Tobacco Use (2022 grade – A)
•    Federal Minimum Age of Sale for Tobacco Products to 21 (2022 grade – I*)

* The Incomplete grade is for the FDA being more than 18 months overdue in publishing the final Tobacco 21 regulations as required by statute.

“In 2022, Idaho needs to redouble its efforts to pass the proven policies called for in ‘State of Tobacco Control’ to help end tobacco use. We cannot afford to wait 20 more years and allow another generation to suffer from tobacco-caused addiction, disease and death,” reiterated Kimmel.
 

For more information, contact:

Idaho Media Contact

[email protected]

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