Grades on policies to prevent and reduce tobacco use
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 26, 2017) — Kentucky received an F in every category in the American Lung Association’s 15th annual “State of Tobacco Control” report released on Wednesday. The report grades states and the federal government on policies to prevent and reduce tobacco use.
The report found that in 2016 Kentucky failed to do enough to implement proven-effective policies that would save lives. Kentucky has not increased the age of sale for tobacco products to 21 years old, remains among the 22 states that have not passed comprehensive smokefree laws, and has one of the lowest tobacco taxes in the nation.
“Tobacco use is the leading cause of death and disease in our nation, and 26.2 percent of Kentucky residents currently smoke,” said Heather Wehrheim, advocacy director of the American Lung Association in Kentucky. “We know what works when it comes to preventing and reducing tobacco use, what we need is Kentucky policymakers to implement the policies and programs called for in ‘State of Tobacco Control’ that would save lives and protect kids from a lifetime of addiction.”
- Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F
- Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws – Grade F
- Level of State Tobacco Taxes – Grade F
- Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco – Grade F
- Minimum Age of Sale for Tobacco Products to 21 – Grade F
The American Lung Association Kentucky suggests Kentucky lawmakers raise tobacco tax by $1, increasing tobacco prevention and cessation funding and protecting the public from secondhand smoke with a comprehensive workplace law.
“While Kentucky has made progress at the local level, it’s long past time for Kentucky to act and pass a comprehensive smokefree workplace law,” said Wehrheim. “No one should have to face the harmful effects of secondhand smoke to earn a paycheck.”
A Centers for Disease Control report found that in 2015 Kentucky had a nation leading adult smoking rate of 25.9 percent.