Local News

Report: State Doing Better In Tobacco Prevention

Posted January 19, 2005

— When it comes to the health of North Carolinians, a new report suggests the state is doing better, but there is a lot of room for improvement.

The last time a North Carolina Prevention Report Card came out was in 2002. Since then, North Carolina has climbed to a C from a D-minus on tobacco prevention while the grades for nutrition and physical activity both climbed to D's from F's.

The good news is that North Carolina's grade rose in each category -- tobacco, nutrition and physical activity.

"Considering the last time, we had F's and D's. We've moved from flunking to progress, but the momentum has just begun and we've got to keep it moving," said Meg Malloy, of

N.C. Prevention Partners

.

One of the highlights was a reduction in pregnant women smoking and in middle school students smoking. The bad news is while the grades rose, they did not go up by much.

"Today's N.C. Report Card for Prevention shows a lot of good progress, but we have a long way to go before we reach A's and if we don't reach A's, we'll have no good health in our state," Malloy said.

However, a lowlight from the report is obesity.

"We are still experiencing so many levels of overweight people. We are still so inactive for a variety of reasons, communities not set up to be convenient for people to get out and walk to school to work or restaurant at lunchtime."

In addition, North Carolina Prevention Partners wants to see the state's cigarette tax of 5 cents a pack go up. The average around the nation is 84 cents a pack.

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