1. Eliminate the sale of all flavored tobacco products;
2. Increase funding for comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation: and
3. Increase the tobacco tax by a minimum of $1.00 per pack.
Following an extremely productive legislative session in 2019 for tobacco control measures, there were high hopes for the 2020 session. However, early progress made on consideration of legislation removing flavored tobacco products from the market was derailed by COVID-19. Much of the remainder of the legislative session was focused on policy matters related to the state's response to the pandemic.
However, the Lung Association remains optimistic that we will build on the initial groundwork and continue to advance measures to address the youth use of electronic cigarettes which has become a true epidemic. Enticed by kid friendly flavors that also mask the harshness that comes with inhalation, Vermont's youth are being set up for a lifetime of nicotine addiction. The state must act now to end all sales of flavored tobacco products.
The receipt of additional Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement funding from settling arbitration in the fall of 2020 will result in approximately $10.5 million in one-time funding that Vermont should commit toward addressing the tobacco problem that still grips the Green Mountain State.
The American Lung Association in Vermont will continue to work with our coalition partners the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Vermont Medical Association and many more as we grow our numbers to educate policy makers, business leaders and the media of the importance of advancing strong tobacco control and prevention efforts and to build upon our past successes.
Economic Cost Due to Smoking: $348,112,248
Adult Smoking Rate: 15.1%
High School Smoking Rate: 6.9%
High School Tobacco Use Rate: 28.2%
Middle School Smoking Rate: 2.0%
Smoking Attributable Deaths per Year: 960
Adult smoking data come from CDC's 2019 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. High school smoking and tobacco use data come from the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. Middle school smoking rate is taken from the Vermont 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System; results are rounded to the nearest whole number.