Government is failing at both the federal and state levels to protect the nation’s children from tobacco-caused death and disease, according to the American Lung Association’s (ALA) 17th annual “State of Tobacco Control” report.
The report tracks progress on key tobacco control policies at the federal and state level, assigning grades based on whether laws are protecting citizens from tobacco-caused death and disease. This year’s report finds that the federal government is failing to act to protect kids from e-cigarettes and a lifetime of addiction to tobacco and its associated death and disease. The report also found no state is funding its tobacco prevention efforts at levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), despite billions in revenue from tobacco taxes and ongoing payments from the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in November 2018.
The report also identifies ways to protect everyone, including kids and those historically targeted by the tobacco industry, from the harms of tobacco use and secondhand smoke.
Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, killing 480,000 people each year.