American Lung Association State of Tobacco Control Report Gives South Dakota Higher Grades
PIERRE, S.D., Jan. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Lung Association’s annual State of Tobacco Control Report gave the state a “thumbs up” for adding some tobacco cessation coverage for state employees and for exceeding the recommended “investment per smoker” in funding its Quit Line telephone service. As a result, its grade for cessation coverage improved from an “F” in 2010 to a “D” in this year’s report.
Other grades remained the same, however. In the tobacco prevention and control spending category, the state’s grade still earned an “F” still down from a “D” grade in 2009. Grades in the two remaining categories remained the same as last year: a “B” grade for smokefree air and a “C” for the state’s cigarette tax, which is currently $1.53 a pack. The report also notes the recently withdrawn amendment to re-introduce smoking in the Deadwood casinos.
“Dropping the Deadwood casino amendment is perhaps the clearest signal yet that South Dakotans have fully embraced and accepted smokefree indoor workplaces,” said Pat McKone, a tobacco control director working with the American Lung Association in South Dakota. “That said we still have some work ahead of us this year, starting with restoring the $1.5 million cut from tobacco prevention programs during the 2010 session.”
The adult smoking rate in South Dakota is now at historic lows, at 15.4 percent, the report notes. The high school smoking rate is much higher, however, at 23.3 percent. Smoking related deaths in the state is now estimated at 1,068 people a year.
A link to the entire report is available online at www.stateoftobaccocontrol.org.
SOURCE American Lung Association in South Dakota