In the tenth annual “State of Tobacco Control” report, the agency graded all 50 states on the four proven policies to save lives and cut health care costs.
Spokeswoman Katie Lorenz says Nebraska only aced one category for having smokefree air in workplaces, schools, bars and restaurants, but failed in the other three categories.
Lorenz says, “So that’s an ‘F’ for tobacco prevention and control spending, an ‘F’ for cessation coverage and an ‘F’ for their cigarette tax.”
Nebraska spends less than $4-million a year on tobacco prevention and control while the CDC recommends spending more than $21-million.
Nebraska’s cigarette tax is 64-cents per pack. Lorenz says if the tax were even a dollar higher, it would keep thousands more teens from starting to smoke while more adults would quit.
The full report is on-line with state-by-state breakdowns.
“Your listeners can visit www.stateoftobaccocontrol.org, she says. “There’s a section where they can take action and send a letter to their governor or to their legislators and say, ‘We understand it’s important to prevent tobacco use in our state and we want to do our part to make that happen.'”
Overall, six states received four failing grades: Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. Only four states got all passing grades: Delaware, Hawaii, Maine and Oklahoma. No state received straight A’s.