State of Tobacco Control Report: North Dakota Grades Improve, State Still Receives Two Failing Grades for Policies to Prevent and Reduce Tobacco Use

American Lung Association report reveals best and worst states for tobacco control policies, outlines steps to reduce burden of tobacco in North Dakota

North Dakota earned mixed grades on policies to prevent and reduce tobacco use, according to the American Lung Association’s 21st annual “State of Tobacco Control” report, released today.

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 almost 1,000 North Dakota residents each year.

“Last year, we were pleased to see the North Dakota improve their tobacco cessation counseling coverage. As a result, North Dakota’s ‘State of Tobacco Control’ grade improved from ‘B’ last year to ‘A’ this year,” said Pat McKone, advocacy director for the American Lung Association in North Dakota. “This is important progress, however, there are still too many North Dakota residents who are impacted by tobacco use, like the 15% of adults who smoke and the 35.5% of high school students who use tobacco.”

North Dakota’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, North Dakota received the following grades:

  • Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade C
  • Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws – Grade A
  • Level of State Tobacco Taxes – Grade F
  • Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco – Grade A
  • Ending the Sale of All Flavored Tobacco Products – Grade F

This year’s report noted the need for North Dakota policymakers to focus on increasing tobacco taxes. One of the most effective ways to reduce tobacco use, not only among low-income individuals but also for youth, is to significantly increase the tax on all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Multiple studies have shown that every 10% increase in the price of cigarettes reduces consumption by about 4% among adults and about 7% among youth.

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

FDA is overdue in publishing the final Tobacco 21 regulations as required by statute, which is why it earns an “incomplete.” 

To learn more about this year’s “State of Tobacco Control” grades and take action, visit Lung.org/sotc.

Media Resources:

For more information, contact:

James A. Martinez
(312) 445-2501
[email protected]

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