American Lung Association Publishes 2020 State of Tobacco Control Report

The American Lung Association recently published its 18th annual “State of Tobacco Control” report, evaluating states and the federal government on proven-effective tobacco control laws and policies. According to the American Lung Association, the report serves as a blueprint for what state and federal leaders need to do to eliminate death and disease caused by tobacco use. Notably, this year’s report focuses on the continuing vaping epidemic among U.S. youth and young adults.

Included in the report is a roadmap offered to policymakers and relevant stakeholders of public policies needed to prevent and reduce tobacco use. To supplement and simplify the key actions needed by federal, state, and local policymakers to accomplish this goal, the American Lung Association released its 12-point plan for ending the tobacco epidemic; among the points are actions such as:

  • States, counties, and cities must include electronic cigarettes in all smoke-free policies and laws
  • Congress, states, counties, and cities must raise the tax on electronic cigarettes to parity with cigarettes and other tobacco products
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Congress, states, counties, and cities must immediately remove all flavored tobacco products from the marketplace
  • States, counties, and cities must end the use of coupons and other discounts which makes these products cheaper and more appealing to young people
  • FDA must require a “track and trace” technology on all tobacco products to prevent black market, counterfeit, and smuggling activities

The report also issues letter grades to all U.S. states in areas of tobacco prevention and cessation funding, smoke-free air, tobacco taxes, access to cessation services, and tobacco age restrictions. The Lung Association urges California elected officials to prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products including menthol, expand protection from secondhand smoke exposure in locations including multiunit housing and outdoor dining, and pass policies to further reduce access to tobacco products. The full American Lung Association report and associated resources are available here.