2018 ‘State of Tobacco Control’ report finds Tennessee lawmakers must still do more to
reduce tobacco use by repealing preemption to enable communities to pass local
ordinances designed to protect the public from secondhand smoke, ensure all Americans
benefit from progress
2018 “State of Tobacco Control” shows Tennessee earned mixed grades on its tobacco policies. The 16th annual report grades states and the federal government on policies proven to prevent and reduce tobacco use, and finds that while Tennessee has taken significant steps to reduce tobacco use, elected officials must do more to save lives and ensure all Tennessee residents benefit.
“Nationwide, smoking rates have continued to decline to historically low levels, yet tobacco use remains the nation’s leading cause of preventable death and disease killing over 480,000 Americans each year,” said American Lung Association Director of Advocacy, Heather Wehrheim. “Tobacco use is a serious addiction, and the fact that 26.8 percent of Tennessee residents are current smokers highlights how much work remains to be done in our communities to prevent and reduce tobacco use.
This year’s “State of Tobacco Control” finds Tennessee’s mixed grades show that progress can be made, although more still must be done by Governor Haslam and the state legislature to enact proven policies that will reduce tobacco use and secondhand smoke and save lives.
- Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F
- Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws – Grade C
- 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 Tennessee calls on Tennessee policymakers to act on repealing preemption related to smoke free public places and making sure all cessation treatments are covered under Medicaid and private insurance without barriers.
Sadly, the report also details that as a result of decades of targeted marketing by the tobacco industry, too many Americans haven’t seen the benefits of reduced smoking rates, and Tennessee and the federal government could do more to ensure all Americans benefit from tobacco control efforts.