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Utah’s horrible grade on tobacco policy is less horrible than most states

Posted at 5:55 PM, Jan 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 23:33:12-05

Utah’s report card on the annual “State of Tobacco Control” report from the American Lung Association looks terrible:

  • One ‘A’ for smoke-free air,
  • One ‘C’ for access to cessation services,
  • One ‘D’ for age restrictions,
  • And two ‘F’s for funding and tobacco taxes.

Turns out, the ALA is a pretty tough grader, because Utah does better than most states. The Southeast is riddled with states that get F’s across the board.

Still, Michael Siler with the ALA said those F’s are a big deal.

On funding, Siler said Utah spends just 42 percent of the amount the Centers for Disease Control Recommends on smoking cessation and control.

On tobacco taxes, Utah last raised its tax to $1.70 per pack in 2010.

Washington D.C. gets the only A in the tax category, charging $4.50 per pack.

“We know that by increasing the tobacco tax by 10 percent, 6.5 percent of smokers will quit,” Siler said.