Florida Get D's & F's on American Lung Association's State of Tobacco Control Report | Health

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Florida Get D's & F's on American Lung Association's State of Tobacco Control Report
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Florida Get D's & F's on American Lung Association's State of Tobacco Control Report

 

The American Lung Association’s State of Tobacco Control 2012 report was released today. The report showed that Florida received mixed grades on important tobacco issues, such as smoking cessation coverage and smokefree air laws. 

State of Tobacco Control 2012 grades state and federal policies that are proven to reduce tobacco-related disease. Grades are calculated by comparing policies against standards based on the most current, recognized scientific criteria for effective tobacco control measures. The complete report, including federal and state grades, is available at www.stateoftobaccocontrol.org.

“We are doing great things battling tobacco addiction in our state,” said Brenda Olsen, chief operating officer for the American Lung Association in Florida. “From our strong smokefree air laws to the increase in the cost of packs of cigarettes, the natural next step is to ensure those Floridians who have been moved to break nicotine’s deadly grip have all the available treatment and resources to do so.”

Florida received an “F” in Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending, and “D” in Cigarette Tax, a “B” in Smokefree Air and an “F” in Cessation Coverage. The state was recognized for constitutionally protecting the allocation of tobacco settlement dollars to its tobacco control program.

Florida’s “B” grade in the category of smokefree air laws could have been an “A” if local governments were allowed to pass stronger ordinances than the state law. Currently, the preemption clause prohibits them from addressing their own community needs.  For example, local government could not pass measures to protect children from secondhand smoke by prohibiting smoking in local parks where children frequently play.

“There are currently bills introduced this Legislative Session to expand some local authority, but they fall short of removing this preemption clause,” shares Olsen. “The state’s Clean Indoor Air Act should set the minimum standard for the state, not the ceiling.”

Currently, the American Lung Association in Florida is partnering with other organizations involved in tobacco cessation issues to ensure Floridians, including Medicaid recipients and state employees, have access to all the FDA-approved tobacco dependency treatments.

“We know that providing comprehensive treatment to people with nicotine dependency reduces direct and indirect healthcare costs to the state and their employers, far outweighing the cost to implement these programs and treatment,” Olsen said. “In fact, smoking cessation is one of the most cost-effective wellness initiative employers can undertake.” 

The federal government earned an “A” for U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation of tobacco products; a “C” for coverage of tobacco cessation treatments under major federal healthcare programs; a “D” for the federal cigarette tax; and a “D” for signing but failing to ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, an international treaty.

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