Monday, January 24, 2011

Pennsylvania Gets "F" Grade in Cessation Coverage

Pennsylvania might not provide enough protection against tobacco use. The American Lung Association released an annual scorecard that tracks tobacco control policies at state and federal levels. Pennsylvania received an "F" in Tobacco Prevention and Control. The state's grade in Cessation was also downgraded from a "C" last year, to an "F".

Deb Brown, President of the American Lung Association in Pennsylvania, says the state should provide more money for cessation and prevention. "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has best practices that they recommend 155 million dollars be spent on prevention and cessation in Pennsylvania, and we only spend 14.7 million."

Brown says that although the state received money in the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) made with the tobacco companies, funding has dwindled over the years. She says that originally 12% of the MSA was legislated to cessation and prevention, but in 2010 there was a 45% decrease in spending.

No state in the scorecard earned straight "A"s while the federal government drew an "A" for FDA regulation of tobacco, a "C" for cession coverage, and a "D" for the federal cigarette tax.

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