Louisiana fared poorly in the American Lung Association’s 14th annual “State of Tobacco Control” report, with failing grades in three of the four tobacco control categories.
Louisiana scored a “B” in Smokefree Air Laws. The state prohibits smoking in most areas aside from bars and restricts smoking in casinos, except for tribal establishments.
Louisiana received Fs in Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Funding, Tobacco Taxes and Access to Tobacco Cessation Treatments.
For the 2016 fiscal year, Louisiana budgeted $8.3 million for tobacco control programs. The federal Centers for Disease Control recommends $59.6 million, or 13.9 percent of tobacco-related revenue.
On the Tobacco Taxes front, Louisiana raised cigarette taxes 50 cents to 86 cents a pack but has few other tobacco-product taxes. Under Tobacco Cessation Treatments, Louisiana’s Medicaid program offers recipients help to stop smoking, but private insurers are not required to do so.
The American Lung Association says the increase in the use of tobacco products other than cigarettes could undermine the progress made in reducing deaths and disease caused by tobacco.