New Report: Connecticut Earns Disappointing Report Card for Tobacco Control Policies; Experts Recommend Focus on Protecting and Increasing Funding for Tobacco Prevention and Cessation

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

Today, the American Lung Association released the 22nd annual “State of Tobacco Control” report, which finds that Connecticut received two Fs, one C, and 2 Bs for efforts to prevent and reduce tobacco use. This year’s report noted the need for Connecticut policymakers to focus on protecting and increasing funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs. 2024 priorities also include defending the state’s indoor air laws and reducing youth access to tobacco through local ordinances.

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.

“Tobacco use is the leading cause of death in Connecticut and across the country and takes the lives of 4,900 state residents each year. The tobacco industry will do anything to protect their profits at the expense of Connecticut lives, so we must push forward in our efforts to prevent and reduce tobacco use,” said Ruth Canovi, director of advocacy at the American Lung Association in Connecticut. “This year, we are working with state policymakers to protect the recent increase in funding to the Tobacco and Health Trust Fund and ensure that those funds are used for life-saving tobacco prevention and quit smoking programs in the communities that need it most. Despite receiving over $433M from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes, Connecticut funds tobacco control efforts at 43% of the level recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Lung Association urges Governor Lamont and the legislature to increase funding for this critical program.” 

Connecticut 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, Connecticut 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 B
  • Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco – Grade C
  • 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 at the Fight For Air Climb in Hartford in at Hartford21 on April 6, 2024. Learn more at FightForAirClimb.org/Hartford
 

For more information, contact:

Jennifer Solomon
(516) 680-8927
[email protected]

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