Wyoming Earns Mostly Failing Grades for Tobacco Control Policies; Experts Recommend Focus on Increasing Taxes on Tobacco Products

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

A new report from the American Lung Association urges Wyoming lawmakers to focus on increasing taxes on tobacco products to reduce the burden of tobacco use. The 2024 “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. Wyoming received four F grades and one C for the state’s policies to prevent and reduce tobacco use.

“Tobacco use is the leading cause of death and disease in Wyoming and across the country and takes the lives of 800 state residents each year. We know that the tobacco industry will do everything they can to grow their profits and addict more people to their deadly products. So, we must redouble our efforts to prevent and reduce tobacco use,” said Nick Torres, Advocacy Director for the American Lung Association in Wyoming.

“This year, we are highlighting the need for lawmakers to increase taxes on tobacco products and invest those funds into prevention, cessation, and other critical health programs. 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. It has been 20 years since Wyoming last raised the tax on cigarettes – lawmakers would need to increase the tax by $1.33 per pack just to reach the current national average.”                        

Wyoming 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, Wyoming received the following grades:

  1. Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F*
  2. Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws – Grade F
  3. Level of State Tobacco Taxes – Grade F
  4. Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco – Grade C
  5. 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.

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