Story at a glance
- The American Lung Association released its annual State of Tobacco Control report Wednesday.
- In the report, the group gives all 50 states and Washington, D.C., letter grades in five areas of smoking prevention.
- California, Maine and Massachusetts all received the best marks in those categories while Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas received “F” grades in all five categories.
California, Maine and Massachusetts are the states with the most controls on tobacco, according to a new report.
The American Lung Association released its annual “State of Tobacco Control” report Wednesday which grades each state and Washington, D.C., along five categories to prevent tobacco use.
While California, Maine, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., are doing the best to enact tobacco control policies, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas are doing the worst, according to the report.
But while California received top marks compared to other states, the reports findings show the state still has more work to do.
The Golden State received an “A” grade in the report’s “smoke-free air” category and “B” marks in three other categories: tobacco taxes, access to cessation services, and ending the sale of flavored tobacco products.
But California received a “D” for funding state tobacco prevention programs.
California has improved since last year’s report in part due to the state’s passage of Proposition 31, a law restriking the sale of flavored tobacco products.
“This is important progress, however, there are still too many California residents who are impacted by tobacco use,” said Michael Seilback, national assistant vice president of state and public policy at the American Lung Association.
Almost 9 percent of adults in California smoke and 12.7 percent of high school students said they use tobacco, according to the report.
Along with featuring each state’s letter grades, the interactive report allows users to access more information on state laws and policies against tobacco use and local grade reports.
While smoking continues to decline in the U.S., tobacco still remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the country, killing about 480,000 people a year, according to the American Lung Association.
In 2020, the smoking rate dropped to 12.5 percent marking a slight drop from the year before. In 2019, 14 percent of U.S. adults smoked.