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

  1. Enact a statewide tobacco retailer licensing system;
  2. Oppose all forms of statewide preemption for sales or use of tobacco products; and
  3. Increase state funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs.
The American Lung Association continues to champion tobacco control issues in Arizona by leading legislative efforts and partnering with key organizations, state departments, and legislators to ensure tobacco education and prevention remains among the state's top priorities.

In 2023, funding for Arizona’s tobacco control program, Tobacco Free Arizona, went from $17.7 million in fiscal year 2023 to $18 million in fiscal year 2024. The program is funded by a percentage of revenue from tobacco taxes, and funding has remained relatively consistent over the years. However, the American Lung Association in Arizona keeps a close eye on funding levels to ensure these vital tobacco prevention and quit smoking programs receive the funding dedicated to them. Even at current funding levels, the state remains well short of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended levels.

During the 2023 legislative session, the Lung Association in Arizona worked on legislation to create a statewide tobacco retail license, raise the sales age of tobacco products to 21, and to include electronic smoking devices in the Clean Indoor Air Act. Unfortunately, there was a competing bill introduced by the tobacco industry that had a weak statewide retail license system and also added preemption that would have prevented local communities from passing any stronger local laws on tobacco product sales, including tobacco retail licensing and flavors. The tobacco industry bill also raised the penalty on youth under the age of sale for possessing tobacco products. Neither bill ultimately advanced to the Governor.

On the local front, the Lung Association along with a coalition of partners continue to work with city councilmembers in Tempe enacting a tobacco retailer license and worked with the City of Flagstaff to implement their licensing requirement passed in 2019.

During the 2024 legislative session, the American Lung Association will again work diligently to educate our lawmakers on the enormous negative economic impacts that tobacco use has on Arizona. Creating a tobacco retailer licensing system and opposing all forms of statewide preemption on tobacco product sales laws will continue to be a priority.

Arizona Facts
Healthcare Costs Due to Smoking: $2,383,033,467
Adult Smoking Rate: 12.70%
High School Smoking Rate: 3.40%
High School Tobacco Use Rate: 17.40%
Middle School Smoking Rate: 2.40%
Smoking Attributable Deaths per Year: 8,250
Adult smoking data come from CDC's 2022 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. High school smoking and tobacco use data come from the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. Middle school smoking rate is taken from the 2017 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.

Arizona Information

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

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