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State of Tobacco Control 2019

Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Funding Methodology

In January 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an updated version of its Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs, which was first published in 1999, and previously updated in 2007. Based on "Best Practices" as determined by evidence-based analysis of state tobacco control programs, this CDC guidance document recommends that states establish programs that are comprehensive, sustainable and accountable. The CDC lists five components as crucial in a comprehensive tobacco control program: State and Community Interventions, Mass-Reach Health Communication Interventions, Cessation Interventions, Surveillance and Evaluation and Infrastructure, Administration and Management.

The CDC also recommends an overall level of funding for each state's tobacco control program based on a variety of state-specific factors such as prevalence of tobacco use, the cost and complexity of conducting mass media to reach targeted audiences and the proportion of the population that is below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. For the tobacco prevention and control spending area, the CDC recommendation for state funding of comprehensive programs served as the denominator in the percentage calculation to obtain each state's grade. Each state's total funding for these programs (including federal funding from the CDC and FDA given to states for tobacco prevention and cessation activities) served as the numerator. After calculating the percentage of the CDC recommendation each state had funded, grades were assigned according to the following formula.

Grade

Percent of CDC Recommended Level

A

80 percent or more

B

70 percent to 79 percent

C

60 percent to 69 percent

D

50 percent to 59 percent

F

50 percent or less

Limitation of Grading System on State Tobacco Control Expenditures

The American Lung Association bases its tobacco prevention and control spending grades on the total amount allocated to tobacco control programs, including applicable federal funding, in each state, but does not evaluate the expenditure in each of the CDC-recommended categories. The Lung Association does not evaluate the efficacy of any element of any state's program. Therefore, a state may receive a high grade but be significantly underfunding a component or components of a comprehensive program. It also may be true that a state with a low grade is adequately funding a specific component or program in one community.

However, the CDC recommends a comprehensive program and explains that simply funding an element of the program will not achieve the needed results. The CDC explicitly calls for programs that are comprehensive, sustained and accountable. The American Lung Association agrees with the CDC and believes that the total funding is a fair basis for grading state programs and a state's tobacco control funding performance.


    Did You Know?

    1. More than 27 percent of high school students in the U.S. use at least one tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, according to the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
    2. 7.2 percent of middle school students use at least one tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, according to the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
    3. From 2017 to 2018, high school e-cigarette use increased by 78 percent and middle school e-cigarette use increased by close to 50 percent in the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
    4. Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S., killing over 480,000 people per year.
    5. Secondhand smoke kills more than 41,000 people in the U.S. each year.
    6. 28 states and Washington D.C. have passed laws making virtually all public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars smokefree.
    7. The District of Columbia has the highest cigarette tax in the country at $4.50 per pack.
    8. Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax in the country at 17 cents per pack.
    9. The average of all states plus the District of Columbia's cigarette taxes are $1.78 per pack.
    10. Three states – Connecticut, Tennessee and West Virginia – spend no state dollars at all tobacco prevention programs.
    11. No state is funding its tobacco control programs at or above the CDC-recommended level (in Fiscal Year 2019).
    12. Kentucky, Oklahoma and the District of Columbia increased their cigarette taxes in 2018.
    13. No state approved a comprehensive smokefree workplace law in 2018.
    14. 12 states – California, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon and South Carolina– offer a comprehensive cessation benefit to tobacco users on Medicaid.
    15. Each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia provide tobacco quitlines, a phone number for quit smoking phone counseling. The median amount states invest in quitlines is $2.21 per smoker in the state.
    16. Massachusetts passed legislation increasing its minimum sales age for tobacco products to 21 in 2018.
    17. Six states, the District of Columbia and over 350 communities have passed Tobacco 21 laws.
    18. Nationwide, the Medicaid program spends more than $39.6 billion in healthcare costs for smoking-related diseases each year – more than 15.2 percent of total Medicaid spending.
    19. In 2009, the American Lung Association played a key role in the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority over tobacco products.
    20. The American Lung Association played a key role in airplanes becoming smokefree in the 1990s.
    21. 43 states and the District of Columbia spend less than half of what the CDC recommends on their state tobacco prevention programs.
    22. States spend less than three cents of every dollar of the $27.3 billion they get from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes to fight tobacco use.
    23. Each day, more than 2,000 kids under 18 try their first cigarette and more than 300 kids become new, regular smokers.
    24. Each day, more than 1,900 kids try their first cigar. On average, more than 80 kids try their first cigar every hour in the United States – equaling about 712,000 every year.
    25. Smoking costs the U.S. economy over $332 billion in direct health care costs and lost productivity every year.
    26. The five largest cigarette companies spent over $23 million dollars per day marketing their products in 2016.
    27. Secondhand smoke causes $5.6 billion in lost productivity in the U.S. each year.
    28. Smoking rates are over twice as high for Medicaid recipients compared to those with private insurance.
    29. A 2013 study of California's tobacco prevention program shows that the state saved $55 in healthcare costs for every $1 invested from 1989 to 2008.
    30. A 2017 study found that states which expanded Medicaid had a 36 percent increase in the number of tobacco cessation medication prescriptions relative to the states that did not expand Medicaid. This means more quit attempts with proven cessation treatments are being made. 
    31. In 2018, three states, Idaho, Nebraska and Utah, voted to expand their Medicaid coverage, providing more smokers with access to tobacco cessation treatments.
    32. Uninsured Americans smoke at a rate more than two times higher than people with private insurance.
    33. An estimated one-third of Americans living in public housing smoke.
    34. Persons with mental illness consume close to 40 percent of all cigarettes in the U.S.
    35. Native Americans and Alaska Natives have the highest smoking rates among any racial/ethnic group.
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