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Report: Nevada, Nation Score Poorly On Tobacco Measures

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Byung Kyu Park
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CC BY-SA 2.0

The American Lung Association released its 2016 State of Tobacco Control Report. Among the four categories that were measured, nationwide scores were poor, and Nevada received an F for three of them. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

Let’s start with the negatives. Nevada got an F in tobacco taxes, cessation services and prevention funding.

“We’re only spending about six percent of what the CDC recommends we spend to prevent youth from starting to smoke and help adults quit. Only North Dakota, only one state, received an A.”

That’s Frankie Vigil, executive director of the American Lung Association of Nevada. She says there is room for improvement, but Nevada is in line with much of the nation.

“Nevada actually looks very similar to other states," she says. "In terms of tobacco taxes, about 30 other states received an F.”

The report states that Nevada spent more than $1 billion in healthcare costs due to smoking last year, and 10 percent of high school students are smokers. Not included, however, is information on the use of e-cigarettes, something Vigil says the government currently doesn’t regulate.

“We don’t know exactly what’s in them," she says. "We don’t know the health consequences, and we don’t know what the long-term implication on public health could be at this point.”

Vigil says Nevada has made progress in some key areas, including a one dollar tax increase on cigarettes and a smoke-free campus at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Noah Glick is a former content director and host at KUNR Public Radio.
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