Wisconsin fares better in tobacco control report cardWisconsin did better than it’s ever done in the annual American Lung Association review of tobacco control.
By: Shamane Mills, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Wisconsin did better than it’s ever done in the annual American Lung Association review of tobacco control.
This year, Wisconsin raised its cigarette tax and passed a statewide smoking ban. The American Lung Association previously gave Wisconsin a grade of “F” for not having a comprehensive ban. This year it got an incomplete, because the law won’t take effect until July, 2010. However, the tax on a pack of cigarettes, now $2.52, got a grade of “B.”
Another “B” was given for coverage of smoking cessation drugs and counseling. Both are covered under state employee health plans and Medicaid, although there’s no provision for private insurance to do so.
Dona Wininsky, spokeswoman for the Wisconsin chapter of the American Lung Association, says smoking in the state is on a downward trend. She notes in 2009, the rate of adult smokers in the state was under 20-percent for the first time ever and youth smoking rates have also been declining.
Anti-smoking advocates hope that trend will continue but are concerned Wisconsin’s 50-percent cut to tobacco prevention programs will have a negative effect.