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State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues: 2007 Midterm Report

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Publication Date: July 2007

Publisher(s): American Lung Association; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Topic: Health (Licensing and regulation)

Type: Report

Abstract:

Attitudes about the dangers of secondhand smoke are shifting, and the general public is becoming increasingly unwilling to be exposed to a hazardous substance where they live, work and play. Many states have taken strong action to protect their citizens from tobacco by making public places and workplaces smoke-free, raising tobacco taxes, and passing laws to protect citizens from cigarette-caused fires. In the midterm update to its publication State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues (SLATI), the American Lung Association summarizes state tobacco control laws enacted in 2007.

This report explores recent legislation including:

* Smoking restrictions—Twenty-two states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico now have laws prohibiting smoking in most public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars.
* Tobacco tax—The state cigarette tax average continues its steady climb and is currently at $1.057 per pack.
* Smoking prevention spending—A number of states have increased funding for tobacco control programs, reversing the drastic cuts made to these programs earlier this decade.
* Fire-safety standards for cigarettes—Fifteen states have enacted fire safety standards for cigarettes this year.

The report also provides an examination of several important new studies, including a report released by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation, which provides validation for the effectiveness of existing tobacco control policies and suggests potential new ways to reduce tobacco use.