NewsCovering Colorado


American Lung Association report warns of increasing use of tobacco products

Posted at 8:23 AM, Jan 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 14:19:25-05

(NBC News) A new report from the American Lung Association slams both federal and state governments for not doing enough to stop people from smoking.

The American Lung Association gave 43 states and Washington D.C. a failing grade when it comes to funding prevention programs. Colorado received a D in that category. The Centennial state also received an F for tax rates on tobacco products and for allowing people under the age of 21 to buy tobacco products.

Colorado did receive B grades for smoke-free air in Colorado and for the state’s access to services to help people quit.

The dramatic increase in the kids using e-cigarettes is another cause for concern.

“The e-cigarette epidemic is threatening to erase all of the progress that the United States has made in reducing tobacco rates in general,” says the Lung Association’s Erika Sward.

According to the Centers for Disease Control more than 20-percent of high school students reported using e-cigarettes last year.

Vaping, especially among young people, is an issue that hits close to home in Colorado. About 27 percent of high Colorado youth admitted to vaping, which is more than the national average.

Former Gov. John Hickenlooper signed an executive order last November aimed at reducing the number of young people who use e-cigarettes.

The order also suggested that state lawmakers should pass new laws to discourage teen vaping. One proposal would put e-cigarettes in the same category as cigarettes. If passed, that means they would be banned indoor public areas in Colorado.

The Lung Association says there are steps the FDA can take to reverse the trend.

“Primarily prohibiting all flavored tobacco products and to remove them from the market,” Sward says.

While no state got a perfect “A” in the report the best states overall were Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts and Washington D.C.

The worst were Mississippi, Missouri, Texas and Virginia.

CLICK HERE to read the full report.