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Highlights: North Dakota

The American Lung Association in North Dakota has been a strong leader and partner in the work to reduce the harm and destruction from tobacco use in the state. North Dakota's tobacco control framework, one of only two in the country that is fully funded to the Center for Disease Control recommendations, is based on best practices - including eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke, increasing the price of tobacco products and preventing initiation among young people.

During the 2013 legislative session advocates focused on keeping the new smokefree law strong and maintaining full funding for the comprehensive tobacco control program. Legislators passed three bills that did slightly change the smokefree law, but did not weaken it in any way. House Bill 1253 requires the Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy to provide smokefree signage upon request. House Bill 1292 removed vehicle signage requirements. Many vehicles are used in undercover work and the legislators felt this put those in a position of danger. A similar bill that came out of the Senate (Senate Bill 2117) removed the smokefree signage requirement on official state vehicles due to cost concerns.

A resolution was introduced in the state House of Representatives House Concurrent Resolution 3033 that would require Legislative Management to study "harm reduction" and how it could be encouraged with a report and recommendation due by the beginning of the next legislative session in 2015. The resolution was approved by the House, but members of the Senate voted down the resolution after receiving intense education on harm reduction by the Lung Association and our coalition partners. The study was then attached to another bill, but was thankfully successfully removed.

While the coalition was successful in opposing the "harm reduction" study this time, continued education on electronic cigarettes will be necessary in North Dakota as use of the product is increasing. Electronic cigarettes cannot be used in public places and workplaces in North Dakota thanks to the 2012 smokefree air ballot initiative approved overwhelmingly by voters.

The Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy was fully funded with an appropriation of over $15.8 million in the fiscal year 2014 and 2015 two-year budget. This is the biggest success of the 2013 legislative session for the American Lung Association in North Dakota as it provides the funding needed to continue with current tobacco control efforts.

North Dakota State Facts

Economic Cost Due to Smoking: $442,053,000
Adult Smoking Rate: 21.2%
High School Smoking Rate: 19.4%
Middle School Smoking Rate: 5.8%
Smoking Attributable Deaths: 877
Smoking Attributable Lung Cancer Deaths: 259
Smoking Attributable Respiratory Disease Deaths: 245

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.

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