Highlights: United States
The beginning of the Obama Administration’s second term saw increased action at the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products. In March of 2013, Mitch Zeller became the second director of the Center for Tobacco Products. In June, FDA issued orders authorizing two products as substantially equivalent and the applications of over one hundred others were withdrawn. In July, FDA released its internal menthol report in conjunction with an advanced notice for proposed rulemaking, to which the Lung Association submitted comments in November.
Once again, the Obama Administration failed to move forward with giving FDA authority over all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, hookah, pipe tobacco and some other dissolvable tobacco products. The January 2014 Surgeon General’s report makes clear that the White House must empower FDA to move aggressively to reduce the deadly burden caused by tobacco use.
In 2013, the Administration made no further moves to define a comprehensive quit smoking benefit, leaving health plans up to their own devices to determine what medications will be covered and which, if any, of the three forms of counseling will be added. Preventive services, including tobacco cessation, must be covered in most plans at no cost to the patient, but because studies show that plans are falling short, the Lung Association has called for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to specifically define a comprehensive cessation benefit.
In January 2013, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced legislation requiring federal tobacco tax equivalence across all products (i.e. increase the tax on other tobacco products to the level of cigarettes). This legislation would eliminate any financial incentive for tobacco users to switch to a tobacco product taxed at lesser levels, and result in more users quitting. A March 2013 Bloomberg News report highlighted this issue: it found a dozen cigar manufacturers added kitty litter clay to its products to add weight and be taxed at a lower rate – costing the U.S. Treasury billions of dollars. In November 2013, the American Lung Association urged Congress to close these loopholes as part of its latest fiscal negotiation package.
In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched the second round of its "Tips from Former Smokers" mass media campaign. This campaign, which features additional testimonials from real former smokers living with disease caused by tobacco use, served as an avenue to discourage smoking and encourage quitting, by featuring the federal government’s phone quit smoking resource, 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Initial evidence shows that the media campaign increased the number of people calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW by 75 percent.
United States Facts
|Economic Costs Due to Smoking:||$192,775,000,000|
|Adult Smoking Rates:||18.0%|
|High School Smoking Rates:||14.0%|
|Middle School Smoking Rates:||3.5%|
|Smoking Attributable Deaths Rates:||392,681|
|Smoking Attributable Lung Cancer Death Rates:||125,522|
|Smoking Attributable Respiratory Disease Death:||103,338|
Did You Know
2014 is the 50th anniversary of the historic 1964 Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health, which linked smoking to lung cancer and other deadly diseases for the first time.
A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that about 8 million lives have been saved through tobacco control efforts since 1964, including 800,000 lung cancer deaths between 1975 and 2000.
Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S., killing over 1,200 people per day.
Secondhand smoke kills almost 50,000 people each year.
28 states and Washington DC have passed laws prohibiting smoking in almost all public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars.
New York has the highest cigarette tax in the country at $4.35 per pack.
Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax in the country at 17 cents per pack.
The average of all state plus the District of Columbia cigarette taxes is $1.53 per pack.
Alaska and North Dakota are the only two states that fund their tobacco control programs at or above the CDC-recommended level (in Fiscal Year 2014).
Massachusetts and Minnesota approved cigarette tax increases large enough to impact public health in 2013.
2 states – Indiana and Massachusetts – offer a comprehensive cessation benefit to tobacco users on Medicaid.
2 states – Alabama and Georgia – offer virtually no help with quitting to most tobacco users on Medicaid.
In 2009, the American Lung Association played a key role in the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority over tobacco products.
The American Lung Association played a key role in airplanes becoming smokefree in the 1990s.
40 states and Washington DC spend less than half of what the CDC recommends on their state tobacco prevention programs.
States spend less than two cents of every dollar they get in tobacco-related revenue to fight tobacco use.
Each day, almost 3,900 kids under 18 try their first cigarette and more than 1,000 kids become new, regular smokers.
Each day, 3,000 kids try their first cigar.
Smoking costs the U.S. economy $263 million in direct health care costs and $266 million in lost productivity each day.
The five largest cigarette companies spent over $22.9 million dollars a day marketing their products in 2011.
The American Lung Association has been fighting smoking and tobacco use since the 1950s.
Smoking rates for Medicaid recipients are over 50 percent higher than the general population.
Only 4 states – Maine, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming – fund their quitlines at or above CDC-recommended levels.
A 2013 study of California’s tobacco prevention program shows that the state saved $55 in healthcare costs for every $1 invested from 1989 to 2008.
A 2012 study of Massachusetts’ comprehensive Medicaid quit smoking benefit found that Massachusetts saved $3 for every $1 spent helping smokers quit in just over a year.
Spread the Word
The American Lung Association’s annual "State of Tobacco Control" report was released nationwide on Wednesday, January 22, 2014.Learn More
Surgeon General’s Report
Despite the great progress of the past, in the last few years, tobacco control efforts have slowed and in some areas, even stalled.Learn More