Florida fails the grade in tobacco control
The American Lung Association's annual report card on tobacco use gave Florida a failing grade in three of four areas: tobacco prevention spending, cessation coverage and the cigarette tax. All three categories earned the state an "F" in the 2008 State of Tobacco Control report. The lone bright spot was in the fourth category, where Florida got a "B" for its Clean Indoor Air Act.
"We really need to do a lot of work in the areas of increasing of funding for tobacco prevention and control, increasing our cigarette tax and also providing coverage to our most vulnerable citizens," said Brenda Olsen, chief operating officer of the American Lung Association in Florida.
Florida is spending $60-million this year on tobacco control. The Centers for Disease Control recommend that states spend $210-million. The American Lung Association is joining with a number of other public health organizations in campaigning for a $1-per-pack increase in the cigarette tax in the regular 2009 legislative session.