Will the state lose another generation to nicotine addiction? That's the question Washington State Health officials are asking after the The American Lung Association’s 20th annual “State of Tobacco Control” report was released this week.

The report says Washington State has some challenges ahead

The report shows progress in the effort to end tobacco use but products like e-cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes are a big draw for young people. The report gives the state mixed grades for passing policies to reduce and prevent tobacco use, including e-cigarettes.

Lawmakers and policymakers need to consider tougher tobacco control laws

The report looks closely at the actions taken by lawmakers to eliminate tobacco use, the nation’s leading cause of preventable death. The report recommends "proven-effective tobacco control laws and policies to save lives.

The state received more failing grades than passing grades

The 2022 “State of Tobacco Control” reveals that the country has made substantial progress in advancing tobacco control policies over the past 20 years, including comprehensive smokefree laws in more states, increased tobacco taxes across the nation and more Americans with access to treatments to help them quit smoking through state Medicaid programs."
“State of Tobacco Control” 2022 grades states and the District of Columbia in five areas that have been proven to prevent and reduce tobacco use and save lives. Washington received the following grades:

    Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs - Grade F
    Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws - Grade A
    Level of State Tobacco Taxes - Grade C
    Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco - Grade F
    Ending the Sale of All Flavored Tobacco Products - Grade F

“While we have seen in Washington, tobacco use remains our leading cause of preventable death and disease, taking an estimated 8,290 lives each year,” says Carrie Nyssen, Senior Director of Advocacy at the American Lung Association in Washington. “And our progress on tobacco control policy has not been equal. We continue to see the unequal burden of tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke in communities experiencing health disparities.”

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