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Tobacco use remains a leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and in Alabama. To address this enormous toll, the American Lung Association calls for the following actions to be taken by Alabama's elected officials:

  1. Implement a comprehensive tobacco retail licensing program to ensure enforcement and compliance with tobacco control statutes;
  2. Pass comprehensive local smokefree ordinances that protect all workers and patrons from secondhand smoke; and
  3. Ensure access to comprehensive cessation coverage for Medicaid recipients.
Tobacco prevention and control issues were not a priority for the Alabama Legislature in 2022. The Lung Association and other public health partners advocated for updating provisions for licensing, enforcement and compliance of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. This would also include removing youth penalties as policies that would have effectively reduced youth tobacco and nicotine use. Unfortunately, no legislation was introduced.

Similar to the past few years, many local municipalities continued to respond to their community needs as part of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022. This limited many communities’ ability to focus on other public health issues, such as implementing strong smokefree ordinances. Tobacco control partners continue to be engaged with community education on the dangers of tobacco use and secondhand smoke across Alabama. The Lung Association plays a prominent role by offering technical assistance on the best practices of tobacco prevention and control. The Alabama Department of Public Health continues to affect social norm change around tobacco use, address the marketing of tobacco products to youth, and promote policies that eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke through the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program.

In 2023, the American Lung Association in Alabama will advocate for the implementation of a comprehensive tobacco retail licensing program to ensure enforcement and compliance with tobacco control statutes while continuing to educate state legislators on best practices for tobacco control, including the benefits of a statewide smokefree law. In order to reduce the death and disease caused by tobacco use in Alabama, state legislators will need to recognize the health and economic burden of tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure by enacting public health protections and investing in evidence-based tobacco prevention programs. The Lung Association will continue to work with partners to ensure successful passage and preservation of comprehensive local smokefree ordinances.

Alabama Facts
Healthcare Costs Due to Smoking: $1,885,747,576
Adult Smoking Rate: 17.20%
High School Smoking Rate: 7.10%
High School Tobacco Use Rate: 26.70%
Middle School Smoking Rate: 3.40%
Smoking Attributable Deaths per Year: 8,650
Adult smoking data come from CDC's 2021 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. High school smoking and tobacco use rates are taken from the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. Middle school smoking rates are taken from the 2016 Youth Tobacco Survey.

Health impact information is taken from the Smoking Attributable Mortality, Morbidity and Economic Costs (SAMMEC) software. Smoking attributable deaths reflect average annual estimates for the period 2005-2009 and are calculated for persons aged 35 years and older. Smoking attributable healthcare expenditures are based on 2004 smoking attributable fractions and 2009 personal healthcare expenditure data. Deaths and expenditures should not be compared by state.

Alabama Information

Learn more about your state specific legislation regarding efforts towards effective Tobacco Control.

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