“This has been moving at lightning speed, and it makes really big changes to our healthcare system,” said Cindy Zeldin, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future.
By June Deen, American Lung Association in Georgia
Georgia failed almost every category in the American Lung Association’s State of Tobacco Control 2010 report, released on January 20th. These disappointing grades are due to the consistent failure to increase Georgia’s cigarette tax, inadequate funding for tobacco prevention programs and lack of coverage for quit smoking treatments and services for state workers and Medicaid recipients. Despite seeing more than 10,000 smoking attributable deaths each year, Georgia remains one of only five states that give little help to Medicaid recipients who want to quit smoking. The American Lung Association in Georgia is advocating a $1 per pack increase in our state cigarette tax. Keeping our state’s tobacco tax at $0.37 simply will not allow Georgia to see the economic and health benefits that are possible by passing an increase in our cigarette tax by $1 per pack.
State of Tobacco Control 2010 grades state and federal policies that are proven to reduce tobacco-related disease. Grades are calculated by comparing policies against standards that are based on the most current, recognized scientific criteria for effective tobacco control measures. The complete report, including Georgia’s grades, is available at www.stateoftobaccocontrol.org. Send a message to your legislator supporting a cigarette tax by clicking here.