Wisconsin receives failing grades for tobacco control

Wisconsin is getting a failing grade when it comes to tobacco control.

In its annual “State of Tobacco Control” report, the American Lung Association says our state has essentially taken a 10 year break from addressing tobacco concerns.

Funding for prevention programs, access to quitting assistance and minimum age sales all received an “F” grade. Level of state tobacco taxes was rated a “D” and smokefree workplace laws got an “A”.

Smoking rates among Wisconsin teens and adults have fallen in recent years, but e-cigarette use has jumped up dramatically.

“Do we see that these are tobacco products? These are e-cigarettes. Would we identify them? Our kids are quickly becoming addicted, so how do we get them the help that they need to quit? And then how do we prevent them from even starting?” said La Crosse County Health Department Health Educator Judi Zabel.

The report says Wisconsin’s last meaningful legislation was the smoke free air law in 2009, prohibiting smoking from work places. Since then other states have moved to increase the age limit from 18 to 21, included e-cigarettes in their laws and increased tobacco tax rates.

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