The American Lung Association gives Pennsylvania a “D” grade for tobacco policy

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania receives another failing grade from the American Lung Association, but that grade was a slight improvement.

“There are so many connections and issues surrounding tobacco use and the involvement of these products,” said Pam Miller, tobacco treatment specialist at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center.

According to the State of Tobacco Control Report, Pennsylvania has some of the weakest tobacco prevention and reduction policies in the world.

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“It’s critical that we implement policies at the federal and state levels to truly ensure that tobacco use is addressed and eliminated,” said Jennifer Folkenroth, senior national director of the American Lung Association.

This year’s report ranked Pennsylvania in five areas that have proven life-saving. Overall, it received an “F” grade in funding state tobacco prevention programs, the level of state tobacco taxes, and ending sales of all flavored tobacco products.

The Commonwealth received a “D” grade for its restricted access to services to help people quit smoking and for the strength of smoke-free workplace laws.

“This really depends on state and federal laws and what our legislators could do to prevent the initiation of tobacco use in our future generations and provide programs that truly support individuals in successfully breaking nicotine addiction.” ‘ said Folkenroth.

According to the American Lung Association, 26.7% of high school students use tobacco products, including vaping and e-cigarettes.

About two out of five children are exposed to secondhand smoke, which leads to sudden infant death syndrome, lung problems, ear infections and asthma attacks.

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“It really goes to show that tobacco use doesn’t just affect the person using it, but everyone around them,” Miller said.

To get a better grade, officials must raise taxes to make tobacco less affordable, increase state funding for tobacco prevention programs, and improve Pennsylvania’s no-smoking laws, according to the American Lung Association. The American Lung Association gives Pennsylvania a “D” grade for tobacco policy

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