Did your state make the grade?

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

  1. Pass a law to license all tobacco retailers, including e-cigarette retailers;
  2. Prohibit flavorings, including mint and menthol, for all tobacco products;
  3. Increase funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs; and
  4. Match the tax on non-cigarette forms of tobacco like spit tobacco, cigars, hookah and e-cigarettes to the cigarette tax.

During 2021, Michigan Gov. Whitmer proposed the adoption of an administrative rule prohibiting e-cigarette flavorings, but then suddenly withdrew the rule in October 2021. The proposed rule did not include other flavored tobacco products that also attract young people to begin using tobacco products. Other efforts to combat youth usage of e-cigarettes included a legislative bill package to tax e-cigarettes, license tobacco retailers, and to have state law mirror federal law by raising the legal age to use tobacco products from 18 to 21. Work will continue on these efforts during the 2022 legislative session.

The American Lung Association in Michigan continues to work with a diverse group of stakeholders to help combat tobacco usage. There is much more that Michigan policymakers could be doing. The state continues to only spend 3.8% of what is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a state of our size. An increase in tobacco taxes should be considered as a means to increase spending on tobacco control and prevention. Ensuring the tax on non-cigarette forms of tobacco is at parity with the cigarette tax is important to prevent youth from switching to lower-taxed products.

Local efforts are underway in Detroit and Grand Rapids to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products. The Lung Association will work with partners in those communities to enact these ordinances to get flavored products off the market and to have the mechanisms in place to enforce these ordinances. Data shows that flavored tobacco products attract young people to try these products. Over 80% of youth e-cigarette users use a flavored product, according to recently released national data.

As we look ahead to 2022, the American Lung Association in Michigan will continue to work with a broad coalition of stakeholders to advocate for evidence-based solutions to reduce the number of citizens using tobacco products, especially our youth.
Michigan Facts
Economic Cost Due to Smoking: $4,589,784,016
Adult Smoking Rate: 18.4%
High School Smoking Rate: 4.5%
High School Tobacco Use Rate: 23.0%
Middle School Smoking Rate: N/A
Smoking Attributable Deaths per Year: 16,170

Adult smoking data come from CDC's 2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. High school smoking and tobacco use data come from the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. A current middle school smoking rate is not available for this state.

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.

Michigan Information

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

State Grades Report Laws & Policies