The Lung Association continued its strong collaboration with numerous health groups, businesses and other organizations in the Investing in Tobacco-Free Youth Coalition. Through a lobby day featuring youth and former professional football players, media advocacy and legislative outreach, we advocated for closing the tax loophole in state tax law now enjoyed by non-cigarette forms of tobacco, to generate sufficient funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs in the state.
Unfortunately, the same as in previous years, Ohio's legislators chose to cut most funding for tobacco control programs instead. The impact of this choice was seen in Ohio's continuing poor smoking rates. The 2011 smoking rate for the state was 25.2 percent, meaning one out of every four Ohioans over the age of 18 is a smoker.
In 2013, we will continue to emphasize how by simply closing the tax loophole and once again funding tobacco prevention and cessation programs at a reasonable level, we can see our tobacco use rates drop, and positively impact Ohioans' health and healthcare costs in the coming years.
The Lung Association and its partners participated in the five-year rules review of the Smoke-Free Workplace Act, which made all workplaces in Ohio smokefree. We were successful in keeping the rules in place with no weakening, despite strong lobbying by opponents of the law.
Another positive highlight of 2012 was the Ohio Board of Regents' unanimous vote to approve a resolution recommending that all public colleges consider implementing a 100 percent tobacco-free campus policy. More of Ohio's public colleges and universities are likely to adopt such a policy because of this resolution. After the resolution passed, the Lung Association and partners held educational sessions with university staff and health organizations around the state on working with colleges to advocate for, adopt and implement these policies.
The year 2012 also saw four casinos in Ohio open completely smokefree. The Lung Association and its partners undertook the Celebrate Ohio's Smoke-Free Casinos campaign to generate excitement around Ohio being the first state with an existing smokefree workplace law that had casinos open after the law passed. Our campaign combined media advocacy, social media, stories by casino workers and patrons affected by the policies and advertising all promoting how Ohio benefits from the casinos maintaining a smokefree environment.
As we look to 2013, the American Lung Association in Ohio will continue to advocate for tobacco pricing strategies, tobacco cessation treatment coverage, full funding of scientifically-based tobacco prevention and cessation programming, and a strong smokefree workplace law to protect our children, save lives and lower healthcare costs.
|•||Economic Cost Due to Smoking:||$9,174,669,000|
|•||Adult Smoking Rate:||25.0%|
|•||High School Smoking Rate:||21.1%|
|•||Middle School Smoking Rate:||4.5%|
|•||Smoking Attributable Deaths:||18,590|
|•||Smoking Attributable Lung Cancer Deaths:||5,953|
|•||Smoking Attributable Respiratory Disease Deaths:||4,953|
Adult smoking rate is taken from CDC's 2011 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 2010 Youth Tobacco Survey.