Poor grades for Kentucky, Indiana in tobacco report

tobacco smoking LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB Fox 41) — Both Kentucky and Indiana receive poor grades in the American Lung Association’s State of Tobacco Control 2010 report. It looks at whether the laws in individual states are protecting people from tobacco-related diseases.

The report grades each state in four categories — tobacco prevention and spending, smokefree air, cigarette taxes, and cessation coverage.

Kentucky received an “F” in all four categories. It noted the lack of statewide bans on smoking in childcare facilities, bars, and restaurants, and other locations. The report did praise strong local ordinances that provide such restrictions. Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort, and several other Kentucky cities have passed such bans.

The report also pointed out that the state Medicaid program provides coverage for stop-smoking medications in only 16 of 120 counties, and that some health plans have barriers to coverage such as limits on how long they provide coverage and on how many attempts to quit someone can make.

Indiana fared little better in the report, receiving an “F” for tobacco prevention and spending and smokefree air, and a “D” for cigarette taxes and a “C” for cessation coverage.

The report had the same criticisms for Indiana as Kentucky when it comes to a lack of a statewide smoking ban. It also presented the same praise for local communities that have established such bans. Those include Bloomington and Indianapolis.

Indiana’s Medicaid program provides stop-smoking medications, but the report says it has some of the same barriers to coverage noted in the report about Kentucky.

The Lung Association points out that 443,000 people die each year from illnesses related to tobacco use and second-hand smoke. It also says the decline is smoking has stalled out. Nearly 47 million adults in the U.S. smoke, amounting to 20.5% of the population.

source: fox41.com

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