New Report: New Hampshire Earns Mostly Failing Grades for Tobacco Control Policies; Receives Worst Report Card in the Northeast

American Lung Association “State of Tobacco Control” report releases New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire received four F grades and one C grade for efforts to prevent and reduce tobacco use. This year’s report noted that New Hampshire received the worst grades in the Northeast region and the need for state policymakers to focus on providing increased funding for the New Hampshire tobacco control and prevention program, defending against rollbacks to and closing loopholes in smokefree laws, and ending the sale of menthol and all other flavored tobacco products.

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 New Hampshire and across the country, and takes the lives of 1,940 state residents each year. The tobacco industry will do anything to protect their profits at the expense of New Hampshire lives, so we must push forward in our efforts to prevent and reduce tobacco use,” said Lance Boucher, director of advocacy at the American Lung Association in New Hampshire. “Significantly increasing funding for New Hampshire’s tobacco prevention and treatment efforts remains the top priority for the 2024 session.”

Despite receiving over $257M from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes, New Hampshire only funds tobacco control efforts at 10.6% of the level recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The state also received failing grades for Smokefree Air, Flavored Tobacco Products and Tobacco Taxes.  The Lung Association is committed to working with state policymakers to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes.  Kids are attracted to flavored e-cigarettes, and menthol cigarettes continue to be the major cause of tobacco-related death and disease in Black communities, with over 80% of Black individuals who smoke using them. 

Boucher added, “Ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, will not only help end youth vaping, but will address health disparities.”

Finally, the report states that passing a comprehensive smokefree law that closes loopholes and protects against rollbacks is an important priority to would protect workers across the state from deadly secondhand smoke.

New Hampshire 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, New Hampshire received the following grades: 

  • Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F
  • Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws – Grade F
  • Level of State Tobacco Taxes – Grade F
  • Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco – Grade D
  • 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.
 

For more information, contact:

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

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