Highlights: North CarolinaThe American Lung Association in North Carolina is committed to advancing tobacco control policies and educating communities on the risks of tobacco use and exposure. The Lung Association continues to identify opportunities to partner with tobacco control and public health advocates in North Carolina to advance and protect lifesaving measures to improve quality of life. In 2013, restoring state investment in tobacco prevention and control programs and defending against attempts to prevent local communities from passing stronger smokefree laws, were legislative priorities.
The Lung Association worked closely with public health partners, including the American Cancer Society-Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, and the North Carolina Alliance for Health to urge the governor and general assembly to include a recurring state appropriation in the fiscal year 2014 budget for efforts to reduce tobacco use. As recently as 2011, funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs were funded at $17.3 million, but state funding was completely eliminated in the fiscal year 2013 budget last year.
In the end, $1.2 million in recurring state funding was appropriated for the state quitline (Quitline NC), which helps residents in North Carolina quit smoking by phone. However, all funding to prevent tobacco use before it starts was completely eliminated. North Carolina had made incredible progress towards reducing youth smoking rates in recent years, but the lack of funding for tobacco prevention programs puts this progress in serious jeopardy.
Tobacco control partners also fought against Senate Bill 703 during the 2013 legislative session, which would have taken away the authority of local governments and community colleges to prohibit smoking on outdoor areas of their property. Currently, 35 out of 58 community colleges in North Carolina have adopted tobacco-free campus policies for their properties, so this bill would have voided all those policies. Thankfully, the bill died in a state Senate Committee, after tobacco control partners' rallied local opposition to the legislation. However, we will need to be vigilant to ensure that language from this measure is not added to another bill.
In 2014, the American Lung Association in North Carolina will continue to work with public health advocates and key leaders to address the severe cuts the state has seen to its tobacco control funding and will seek to identify new and existing revenue to bolster these lifesaving programs as well as continue to work with communities to protect current tobacco control laws.
North Carolina State Facts
|Economic Cost Due to Smoking:||$6,281,486,000|
|Adult Smoking Rate:||20.9%|
|High School Smoking Rate:||17.7%|
|Middle School Smoking Rate:||4.2%|
|Smoking Attributable Deaths:||12,264|
|Smoking Attributable Lung Cancer Deaths:||4,027|
|Smoking Attributable Respiratory Disease Deaths:||3,142|
Adult smoking rate is taken from CDC's 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. High school smoking rate is taken from the 2011 Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance System. Middle school smoking rate is taken from the 2011 Youth Tobacco Survey.
To Get Involved, Contact:
- American Lung Association in North Carolina
514 Daniels St, #109
Raleigh, NC 27605
- 919 719 9960
See How Other States Compare
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