Camalot Todd, Nevada Current
January 24, 2024
Nevada received F’s in four out of the five public policies on which the American Lung Association grades states, according to the organization’s annual “State of Tobacco Control” report released Wednesday.
Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Nevada and the U.S., with 16 million people living with tobacco-related disease, which kill 480,000 people nationally and 4,050 in Nevada each year, according to the report.
“The tobacco industry will do anything to protect their profits at the expense of Nevada lives, so we must push forward in our efforts to prevent and reduce tobacco use,” said JoAnna Strother, senior director of advocacy at the American Lung Association in Nevada, in a press release.
The report grades states on funding for state tobacco prevention programs, state tobacco taxes, smoke-free workplace laws, coverage of and access to treatments for quitting tobacco, and ending the sale of flavored tobacco products.
The only category that Nevada received a passing grade, a C, was smoke-free workplace legislation. Nevada received an F in all remaining categories, the report citing a decrease in anti-smoking program funding by $2.5 million in Nevada for the current fiscal year, no state law regulating flavored tobacco, and inadequate insurance coverage for smoking treatments.
“This year, we are working with state policymakers to focus on passing a comprehensive smoke-free law. The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke,” Strother said in a press release. “Passing a comprehensive smoke-free law that eliminates smoking in all public places and workplaces, including restaurants, bars, and casinos, would protect workers across the state from deadly secondhand smoke.”
While the federal government fared slightly better than Nevada, the American Lung Association still advocates for improvement giving the feds an F in the level of federal tobacco taxes, and a D in coverage of treatments to quit smoking. The organization also marks the federal government as “incomplete” on its promises to increase the federal minimum age to sell tobacco products to 21 because the FDA remains “grossly overdue” in publishing the regulations.
California was the lone state that received passing grades in all five categories. Only Alabama and Georgia did worse than Nevada, failing in all categories.
Nevada Current is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Nevada Current maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Hugh Jackson for questions: email@example.com. Follow Nevada Current on Facebook and Twitter.