January 30, 2018-
The 16th annual report graded states and the federal government on policies proven to prevent and reduce tobacco use, and found while Tennessee has taken significant steps to reduce tobacco use, elected officials must do more to save lives and ensure all Tennessee residents benefit.
“Nationwide, smoking rates have continued to decline to historically low levels, yet tobacco use remains the nation’s leading cause of preventable death and disease killing over 480,000 Americans each year,” said Heather Wehrheim, American Lung Association in Tennessee’s director of advocacy. “Tobacco use is a serious addiction, and the fact that 26.8 percent of Tennessee residents are current smokers highlights how much work remains to be done in our communities to prevent and reduce tobacco use.” This year’s “State of Tobacco Control” found Tennessee with mixed grades showing that progress can be made, although more still must be done by Gov. Bill Haslam and the state legislature to enact proven policies that will reduce tobacco use and secondhand smoke and save lives: