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American Lung Association Gives Lousy Grades to Idaho in Annual Report 

click to enlarge Idaho gets low grates in the 2016 State of Tobacco Control. - AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION


Idaho has some of the lowest cigarette taxes in the nation at 57 cents per pack of 20 cigarettes, compared to Oregon's $1.32 per pack, Montana's $1.70 per pack and Washington's whopping $3.03 per pack.

That's only one of the reasons the American Lung Association gives the Gem State low grades in its annual "State of Tobacco Control" report.

The ALA suggests the only ways Idaho will be able to reduce its rates of smoking and tobacco use and protect others from secondhand smoke are: No. 1, increase funding for prevention and control programs through the Idaho Millennium Fund; No. 2, pass a comprehensive statewide smoke-free air law; and No. 3, raise cigarette and tobacco taxes. 

According to the report, Idaho suffers an economic cost of more than $508 million per year due to smoking, primarily rooted in health care costs and lost productivity. The adult smoking rate is now nearly 16 percent, according to the report, and the high-school smoking rate is just over 12 percent. Additionally, smoking triggers approximately 1,800 deaths each year, according to the ALA.

The good news is that Idaho gets a "B" in the category of smoke-free air because government workplaces, schools, child care facilities, restaurants and retail stores prohibit smoking while many private workplaces restrict smoking.

Still, Idaho receives an "F" due its low cigarette and tobacco taxes, another "F" for tobacco prevention and cessation funding, and a "D" for lack of access to smoking cessation services.
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