This year’s “State of Tobacco Control” report from the American Lung Association finds Nevada earned failing grades on its efforts to reduce and prevent tobacco use. The American Lung Association calls on Nevada officials to increase the minimum age of sale for tobacco products to 21 in order to save lives.
The need for Nevada to take action to protect youth from tobacco is more urgent than ever, with youth e-cigarette use reaching epidemic levels due to a 78 percent increase in high school e-cigarette use from 2017 to 2018, according to results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
This equals one million additional kids beginning to use e-cigarettes, placing their developing bodies and lungs at risk from the chemicals in e-cigarettes as well as a lifetime of addiction to a deadly product. This has caused the U.S. Surgeon General to declare e-cigarette use among young people an epidemic in an Advisory issued in December 2018.
“In Nevada, our smoking rates remain at 17.6%. Tobacco use is a serious addiction and we need to invest in the proven measures to prevent and reduce tobacco use outlined in ‘State of Tobacco Control’,” said American Lung Association Division Vice President, Vanessa Marvin. “The report provides a roadmap on how to save lives, but much work remains to be done in communities across Nevada to prevent and reduce tobacco use.”
The 17th annual “State of Tobacco Control” report grades states and the federal government on policies proven to prevent and reduce tobacco use, and finds that elected officials must do more to save lives and ensure all Nevada residents benefit from reductions in tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke:
- Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F
- Strength of Smoke-free Workplace Laws – Grade C
- Level of State Tobacco Taxes – Grade F
- Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco – Grade F
- Minimum Age of Sale for Tobacco Products to 21 – Grade F
The American Lung Association encourages Nevada to fully fund tobacco control efforts at levels recommended by the CDC, and in particular, this year’s report noted the need to focus on increasing the minimum age of sale for tobacco products to 21.
This move would significantly reduce youth tobacco use, slow the e-cigarette epidemic and save thousands of lives,” said Marvin. “In the 2019 ‘State of Tobacco Control’ report, we call for officials to take action and protect the children of Nevada by raising the minimum sales age for tobacco, including e-cigarettes to 21.”