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Methodology

The American Lung Association's "State of Tobacco Control 2015" is a report card that evaluates state and federal tobacco control policies by comparing them against targets based on the most current, recognized criteria for effective tobacco control measures, and translating each state's relative progress into a letter grade of A through F. A grade of "A" is assigned for excellent tobacco control policies while an "F" indicates inadequate policies. The principal reference for all state tobacco control laws is the American Lung Association's State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues online database, available at LungUSA2.org/slati. The American Lung Association has published this comprehensive summary of state tobacco control laws since 1988. Data for the state cessation section is taken from the American Lung Association's State Cessation Coverage database, available at LungUSA2.org/cessation2.

In response to new data and information, the American Lung Association periodically reviews the methodology for the State of Tobacco Control report, and makes revisions to the methodology for state grading categories if necessary to update the report to use the most current evidence and best practices. Revisions were made to all four state grading categories in "State of Tobacco Control 2015." Because of the revisions to the state grading methodology, all state grades from "State of Tobacco Control 2015" cannot be directly compared to grades from "State of Tobacco Control 2014" or earlier reports.

Calculation of State Grades

State level tobacco control policies are graded in four key areas: tobacco prevention and control funding, smokefree air laws, state cigarette excise taxes and coverage of tobacco cessation treatments and services. The sources for the targets and the basis of the evaluation criteria are described below.

 

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