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
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 11,…

Caleb's not a ghost. Spencer might still be an attempted murderer. And Hanna's going to die next week. In other words, we actually got some…

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.