The American Lung Association gives Pennsylvania a grade of “D” for tobacco policies
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (WHTM) — Penn State had another failing score from the American Lung Association, but this score was a small improvement.
“There are a lot of connections and issues with tobacco use and the sharing of these products,” said Pam Miller, a tobacco therapist at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center.
According to the State of Tobacco Control report, Pennsylvania has some of the weakest policies to prevent and reduce tobacco use.
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“It is critical that we implement policies at the federal and state levels to ensure that tobacco use is addressed and eliminated,” said Jenniferaulkenroth, senior national director of the American Lung Association.
In this year’s report, Penn State was ranked on five areas that have proven to save lives. Overall, it received an “F” in funding for state tobacco prevention programs, the level of state tobacco taxes, and ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products.
The Commonwealth received a ‘D’ for its limited access to services to help people quit smoking and the strength of workplace smoking ban laws.
“It really goes back to state and federal law and what lawmakers can do to help prevent the initiation of tobacco use among future generations as well as provide programs to really support individuals in successfully getting rid of nicotine addiction,”aulkenroth said.
According to the American Lung Association, 26.7% of high school students use tobacco products including e-cigarettes 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 shows that tobacco use affects not only the person who uses it but affects everyone around him,” said Miller.
To get a better score, the American Lung Association says officials need to raise taxes to make tobacco less expensive, increase state funding for tobacco use prevention programs, and improve Pennsylvania’s smoke-free laws.