New Report Identifies Urgent Tobacco Control Opportunities

American Lung Association “State of Tobacco Control” report releases Tennessee 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 underscores the need for increased investment in Tennessee’s tobacco control program and related priorities. 

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 Tennessee and across the country, and takes the lives of 11,380 state residents each year. The tobacco industry will do anything to protect their profits at the expense of Tennessee lives, so we must push forward in our efforts to prevent and reduce tobacco use,” said Shannon Baker, Advocacy Director at the American Lung Association in Tennessee. 

Tennessee’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 2024 report, Tennessee received the following grades: 
•    Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F
•    Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws – Grade D
•    Level of State Tobacco Taxes – Grade F
•    Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco – Grade F
•    Ending the Sale of All Flavored Tobacco Products – Grade F

This year’s report noted the need for Tennessee policy makers to focus on three key priorities: 
1.    Support local comprehensive smokefree laws covering age restricted venues, including e-cigarettes; 
2.    Increase funding for the state tobacco prevention and cessation program to $13 million, allocate the $13 million in Juul settlement funds the state will receive over 6 years to the state program and ensure that funding is spent according to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs; and 
3.    Require all tobacco retail businesses to obtain licenses, provide for and fund specific enforcement measures and establish a meaningful penalty structure for underage sales violations.

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

For more information, contact:

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

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