Funding for smoking-prevention programs dropped significantly in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in the last year. Both states got an “F” for that category in the American Lung Association’s annual State of Tobacco Control report.
Delaware was one of only four states that met 70 percent or more of the Centers For Disease Control’s recommended spending on smoking prevention.
Amid nationwide budget cuts, Deborah Brown of from the American Lung Association said her group will continue to lobby for increased funding for those programs.
“We believe if we can prevent young people from ever starting, we don’t have to be concerned with tobacco-related illnesses and we don’t have to worry about people helping people quit smoking,” Brown said.
New Jersey and Delaware ranked higher in air quality than Pennsylvania, at least partly because of laws that allow smoking in some bars and casinos.
“Not all of the employees who work in those facilities are 100 percent protected from secondhand smoke,” Brown said.
Pennsylvania also earned a “C” for its tobacco taxes, partly because it is the only state that doesn’t tax non-cigarette tobacco products.