Ohio receives mostly F grades in anti-smoking efforts

(AP Photo)

COLUMBUS (NBC News) — The American Lung Association has released new grades for each state’s tobacco control efforts.

Ohio received an F grade in: Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Funding, Tobacco Taxes, Access to Cessation Services, and Tobacco 21 (increasing the age of smoking to 21).

The American Lung Association says Ohio needs to:

  1. Match the tax on non-cigarette forms of tobacco like spit tobacco, cigars and hookah to the cigarette tax;
  2. Increase funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs; and
  3. Pass Tobacco 21 laws to increase the minimum age of sale for tobacco products to 21 in additional cities in the state.

However, Ohio did receive an A for Smokefree Air.
In 2016 California became the second state, after Hawaii, to raise the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21, earning the Golden State glowing remarks from the association.

“They really had a banner year this year as far as tobacco is concerned,” says the Lung Association’s Thomas Carr.

No state received all As, and several failed every category.

Those are Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas And Virginia.

One state emerging from the fog is West Virginia.

The state improved its score for “access to smoking cessation services” from an F last year to a B this year.

West Virginia’s investment for its “quit line” was $3 per smoker, now it’s nearly $9 per smoker.

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