Did you know that Pennsylvania is listed as among the states with the worst policies to prevent and reduce tobacco use, according to the American Lung Association’s (ALA) recent 21st annual “State of Tobacco Control” report?
In fact, Pennsylvania earned mostly failing grades on the report, but did show an improvement in access to cessation services, moving from an ‘F’ to a ‘D’ grade.
The report evaluates state and federal policies on actions taken to eliminate tobacco use and recommends proven-effective tobacco control laws and policies to save lives.
Yes, folks, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in America and takes the lives of 22,010 Pennsylvania residents each year.
A further look into the analysis shows
- 26.7% of high school students use a tobacco product.
- Despite receiving millions and millions of dollars over the years from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes, Pennsylvania only funds tobacco control efforts at 12.8% of the level recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Smokers will love this: The report says Pennsylvania has not increased its tobacco tax since 2016, but should increase its tax by at least a $1 per pack and equalize rates across all tobacco products.
Further, the reports recommends Pennsylvania preserve state funding for tobacco prevention and quit smoking programs, “especially given the ongoing youth vaping epidemic.”
In the end, government can’t stop people from smoking. Those who have smoked and quit know how difficult (and rewarding) it is.
For many, quitting will only occur if they face a life-threatening illness.
Or they simply can’t afford to buy cigarettes.
Right now, a pack of (real) Marlboro cigarettes cost somewhere between $9 and $11 in Pennsylvania.
No kidding. Sure there are generic brands for $7. (We found that Americans spend an average of $6.43 for a cigarette pack.)
The Pennsylvania tax on a 20-stick pack of cigarettes is $2.60 and 55- to 66-cents per ounce of snuff.
ALA estimates 1,481,700 Pennsylvanians smoke, that 24.4% of high school students use E-cigarettes, while 31.4% of cancer deaths in the Keystone State are attributable to smoking.
Throw COVID – a respiratory illness – in there and it’s an even stronger prescription for death.
It’s time to quit, no matter the cost.
There is a much greater price to pay.
Fortunately we live near West Virginia where there is not nearly as much tax!
But lets legalize pot! There are NO health risk there right?? If tobacco is so bad for us then make it illegal to grow or sell.
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