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Health & Science

American Lung Association Flunks Ohio in Annual Report Card

Photo of Ohio's grades from the American Lung Association
AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION

The American Lung Association is out with its yearly report card on tobacco control. Overall, Ohio gets a failing grade with one A, one D, and three F’s.

Ken Fletcher is the Ohio director of advocacy for the organization. He says the state got an F on the smoking age, which the report says should be raised from 18 to 21. It also flunked the state on the per-pack taxes on tobacco products and the amount of money dedicated to prevention efforts. 

We’re taking in $1.3 billion a year in money from the tobacco industry from taxes and tobacco settlement money. So the money is there. We’re just choosing not to put it toward tobacco cessation which is a big mistake because you look at how much is it costing Ohio. It's costing us $5.6 billion a year in healthcare costs that are entirely due to people smoking -- $5.6 billion.

Ohio’s only A came in the category of smoke-free air because of its restrictions on public smoking passed by voters.