American Lung Association Report: Washington Earns Failing Grade for Tobacco Prevention

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

The American Lung Association’s 2024 “State of Tobacco Control” report, released today, reveals that Washington earned failing grades for funding tobacco prevention programs and for access to flavored tobacco products. More work needs to be done to prevent tobacco use, prevent nicotine addiction in Washington’s youth and to save lives. The 22nd annual 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 Washington and across the country and takes the lives of over 8,200 state residents each year. The tobacco industry will do anything to protect their profits at the expense of Washington lives, so we must push forward in our efforts to prevent and reduce tobacco use,” said Carrie Nyssen, Senior Director of Advocacy, at the American Lung Association in Washington.  

“This year, we are working with state policymakers to focus on providing additional funding for tobacco prevention and quit programs. Despite receiving more than $480 million from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes, Washington only funds tobacco control efforts at just over $4.6 million. Washington can do better and the American Lung Association urges Governor Inslee and the legislature to increase funding for this critical program.” 

Washington 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, Washington received the following grades: 

  1. Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F* 

  1. Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws – Grade C 

  1. Level of State Tobacco Taxes – Grade C 

  1. Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco – Grade D 

  1. Ending the Sale of All Flavored Tobacco Products – Grade F    

*State Funding for Tobacco Prevention Programs grades in “State of Tobacco Control” reflect actions taken by elected officials and do not reflect on the hard work of state tobacco control programs or advocates. 

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 further the mission of the American Lung Association in Washington. The Climb for Clean Air is coming in June 2024, please visit ClimbForCleanAir.org for more information and to register. 

For more information, contact:

Katie Geraghty
310-359-6386
[email protected]

Asthma Basics Workshop - National
, | Apr 17, 2024
Asthma Basics Workshop - National
, | May 07, 2024