Does Pennsylvania deserve an ‘F’ from American Lung Association?

Monday is just around the corner. Credit: Wavebreak Media
Monday is just around the corner.
Credit: Wavebreak Media

The American Lung Association (ALA) has given Pennsylvania a failing grade on funding for tobacco prevention and control programs, and not great grades in other tobacco safety categories.

The grades were released on Tuesday in the ALA’s “State of Tobacco 2014″ report, with ratings for each state on tobacco control and prevention programs, smoke-free air, tobacco taxes and support for people quitting smoking. Pennsylvania got an F, C, C and F in those categories, respectively, but could turn things around.

“We could really benefit from an increase of prevention funding, closing those loopholes on secondhand smoke and increasing taxes on tobacco products,” said Deb Brown, CEO of the American Lung Association of the Mid Atlantic. “If we did some of those, I think Pennsylvania could be a leader in tobacco prevention.

“Pennsylvania certainly could earn an A instead of a C for smoke-free air if we just remove the exemptions from the current laws,” Brown added.

For example, casinos and some bars still allow indoor smoking, which exposes employees to second-hand smoke, Brown said.

Brown also called on Pennsylvania to enact taxes for cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco and loose bags of tobacco to fund tobacco control and prevention programs.

“There’s no youth tobacco control program here in the commonwealth. Other states have large youth tobacco control movements,” Brown said.

Pennsylvania Health Department spokeswoman Aimee Tysarczyk said that while she had not seen the full report, Pennsylvania does offer programs to prevent tobacco use among young people, promote quitting among adults, eliminate exposing nonsmokers to secondhand smoke and address the health impact of tobacco.

The state Health Department also partners with the Pennsylvania Alliance to Control Tobacco and the statewide tobacco quitting hotline Quitline, which offers free telephone counseling to residents trying to give up smoking.

“While states, including Pennsylvania, have been met with funding challenges during tough economic times and most recently via the Master Settlement Agreement arbitration ruling, we have made adjustments and continue to provide comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation programs,” Tysarczyk said.

Long said that arbitration ruling, between the state and tobacco companies, led tobacco prevention programs to drop in funding from $14 million to $7 million.

Tysarczyk also mentioned Young Lungs at Play as a promising program that helps communities create tobacco-free parks, playgrounds and recreation centers, and which they hope to expand.

____________________

Follow Sam Newhouse on Twitter: @scnewhouse

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Twitter: @metrophilly

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Facebook: Metro Philadelphia


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

'Five Star': A coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang…

'Five Star' tells a coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang culture at the Tribeca Film Festival.

National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

NYPD detective shoots partner: DA

A New York City Police detective was arrested early Thursday and charged with driving under the influence while on the clock.

Local

Judge strikes down NY limits on donations to…

A federal judge on Thursday reluctantly struck down New York's limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional, potentially ushering in a new…

Music

Championship of Collegiate a Cappella: Students who are…

Tickets to this Saturday’s International Championship of Collegiate a Cappella reportedly sold out within 11 hours of going on sale.

Music

M.I.A. talks 'Matangi,' divinity, spontaneity and holograms

"There’s pressure for me to become a theatrical production like 'Glee,' or something" says M.I.A., "It’s like, 'the pressure’s on, bitches.'"

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

NHL

Rangers unlikely to change lineup, Steve Mason in…

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault wouldn't say much, but don't expect any lineup changes.

NBA

Jason Collins named to Time's 100 Most Influential…

Jason Collins was named to the list after coming out as the first openly gay player to appear in an NBA game.

NBA

Nets excited for Brooklyn fans to bring the…

Kevin Garnett has definitely used profanity while trash talking or in practices, but never to describe an entire borough.

NHL

Rangers turn up shot blocking in Game 3…

Game 3 of the Rangers-Flyers opneing round series was not a return to John Tortorella hockey.

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.