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|Mixed Bag for Illinois' Smoking-Related Grades
|A report card from the American Lung Association is giving Illinois some good grades and some bad when it comes to smoking.
The state's grades in four categories in the ALA's tobacco control report card ranged from "A" to "F". The failing grade is in Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending. The ALA points to tobacco control program funding of more than $9 million dollars in Illinois in Fiscal Year 2010 while the Centers for Disease Control recommends spending $157 million.
The vice president of advocacy for the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest, Kathy Drea, says tobacco generates a great deal of money in Illinois, but little is spent on prevention and cessation programs.
"You have to consider all the cigarette tax money that comes in every year, too," Drea said. "We get a lot of money here in Illinois from both the tobacco settlement and from cigarette tax money, and other tobacco products' tax money; and very, very little of it is being spent to help people quit, and to keep people from starting to smoke."
The state received a "D" for its cigarette tax, which is 98 cents. State Representative Karen Yarbrough is partnering with the ALA and says she'll propose a $1 tax hike on cigarette sales to be phased in over a two-year period. Yarbrough says the expected revenue from the tax would be around $557 million that would go toward the Health Care Relief Fund.
The state's other grades are a "C" in cessation coverage and an "A" for the Smoke Free Illinois Act that was implemented in 2008.
Illinois wasn't alone in receiving a failing grade for tobacco prevention and control spending. Only 10 states didn't receive an "F" in the category.
|01 16 10 by Newsroom
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