Local News

NC fails American Lung Association's tobacco control report card

Posted January 25

— With low funding for tobacco control programs and one of the nation's lowest cigarette taxes, North Carolina was one of five states that failed all five categories in the American Lung Association's State of Tobacco Control report that was released Wednesday.

The ALA's 15th annual report says there were 14,220 deaths attributed to smoking in North Carolina during 2016. The habit also cost the state $3.8 billion, according to the report.

The report ranked states in five categories: tobacco prevention and cessation funding, smokefree air, tobacco taxes, access to cessation services, and tobacco 21, which is the minimum age the ALA recommends for tobacco sales.

The Tar Heel State was one of five states to receive a failing grade in all five categories; Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas and Virginia rounded out the cohort states that didn't receive a passing grade.

Despite the big cost to the economy, the report said the state only spent $1.1 million on tobacco control programs, which is only 4.4 percent of the ALA's recommended $99.3 million.

To bolster North Carolina's failing grades, though, the ALA recommended lawmakers restore funding for those tobacco control programs, such as QuitlineNC, expand smokefree laws to include all public places and private worksites, and increase the state cigarette tax by $1 per pack.

3 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Vince DiSena Jan 25, 9:57 a.m.
    user avatar

    I'm not a smoker, but if people wanna smoke, let them.

  • Ed Ray Jan 25, 9:31 a.m.
    user avatar

    Whatever stop trying to take our freedoms away from us. What I do with my body is my business. If I want to smoke I am going to smoke. No associations or government is going to tell me different

  • Wayne Smith Jan 25, 8:18 a.m.
    user avatar

    How many grants from State's does the American Lung Association receive? That may be the reason they snuck in that little nugget to increase taxes by a $1.00 a pack on cigarettes.

    The socio-fascists need to come to an understanding that the government needs for Americans to smoke. They need the tax revenue, and it keeps the life expectancy down which helps protect Social Security.