Highlights: PennsylvaniaTobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. To address this enormous toll, the American Lung Association and its partners have committed to three bold goals:
1. Reduce smoking rates, currently at about 18 percent, to less than 10 percent by 2024;
2. Protect all Americans from secondhand smoke by 2019; and
3. Ultimately eliminate the death and disease caused by tobacco use.
The American Lung Association in Pennsylvania recognizes that these bold goals will only be met in Pennsylvania if these following three actions are taken by our elected officials:
1. Remove the exemptions from the current state clean indoor air law
2. Increase the current cigarette excise tax by $1.00 per pack and establish a tax on other tobacco products equivalent to the cigarette tax.
3. Increase funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs.
Two bills to remove exemptions from the current statewide clean indoor air law were introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, one in the state Senate and one in the state House of Representatives. About 70 percent of residents support extending the clean indoor air law to all restaurants, bars and casinos, according to a poll done by Franklin and Marshall College. Despite this and numerous requests from the Lung Association and others, neither bill was brought forth for a hearing.
A major priority for the Lung Association was to support efforts to fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs. In September, an arbitration committee ruled that Pennsylvania had failed to meet its burden of proof in exhibiting diligent enforcement of Non-Participating Manufacturers under the Tobacco Master Settlement agreement (MSA) during calendar year 2003. The consequence of the ruling resulted in an MSA payment reduction of $196.9 million. As a result, programs funded by MSA dollars were severely impacted. The Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, housed in the Department of Health, was reduced from $14.2 million to approximately $7 million. This level of funding made it impossible to provide a comprehensive program in Pennsylvania. A number of specific programs ceased immediately. Phone and worksite cessation programs did remain to help smokers quit. The Lung Association was very active in this process of helping to ensure services were maintained. Midway through the year, the monies were restored; however, much of the work and momentum was gone.
Bills to increase the state cigarette tax and establish a tax on other tobacco products were introduced in both the Senate and House, but went nowhere. However, the legislature did approve legislation that authorizes the city of Philadelphia to establish a local cigarette tax of $2.00 per pack, which when combined with the state cigarette tax will mean a combined $3.60 per pack cigarette tax rate in the city.
The American Lung Association in Pennsylvania will continue to educate lawmakers to pass policies to fight tobacco use. Our goal is to build champions within the legislature and a groundswell of advocates to advance our goals: a long overdue increase in the cigarette tax, the equalization of taxes on other tobacco products and funding to prevent our youth from starting to smoke as well as helping individuals who want to quit do so.
Pennsylvania State Facts
|Economic Cost Due to Smoking:||$9,423,966,000|
|Adult Smoking Rate:||21.0%|
|High School Smoking Rate:||18.6%|
|Middle School Smoking Rate:||3.4%|
|Smoking Attributable Deaths:||20,025|
|Smoking Attributable Lung Cancer Deaths:||6,395|
|Smoking Attributable Respiratory Disease Deaths:||4,971|
Adult smoking rate is taken from CDC's 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. High school and middle school smoking rates are taken from the 2010 Youth Tobacco Survey.
To Get Involved, Contact:
- American Lung Association in Pennsylvania
3001 Old Gettysburg Rd.
Camp Hill, PA 17011
- 717 541 5864
Did You Know?
2014 was 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 2014 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 1,300 people per day.
Secondhand smoke kills more than 40,000 people in the U.S. each year.
28 states and Washington, D.C. 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 states plus the District of Columbia's cigarette taxes are $1.54 per pack.
Nine states have taxes on other tobacco products equivalent to their state's cigarette taxes.
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 2015).
No states approved cigarette tax increases large enough to impact smoking rates in 2014.
No states approved a comprehensive smokefree workplace law in 2014.
2 states—Indiana and Massachusetts—offer a comprehensive cessation benefit to tobacco users on Medicaid.
The average amount states invest in quitlines is $3.65 per smoker in the state.
Nationwide, the Medicaid program spends more than $40 billion in healthcare costs for smoking-related diseases each year—more than 15 percent of total Medicaid spending.
A recent study found that CDC's Tips from Former Smokers media campaign is highly cost effective in helping smokers quit and reducing smoking-caused deaths.
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.
41 states and Washington, D.C. 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, more than 3,200 kids under 18 try their first cigarette and about 700 kids become new, regular smokers.
Each day, more than 2,300 kids try their first cigar.
Smoking costs the U.S. economy $356 million in direct healthcare costs and $411 million in lost productivity each day.
The five largest cigarette companies spent over $22.9 million dollars a day marketing their products in 2011.
Secondhand smoke causes $5.6 billion in lost productivity in the U.S. each year.
Smoking rates are almost twice as high for Medicaid recipients compared to those with private insurance.
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.
Wonder what diseases smoking causes that you didn’t know about? Take a look at our top ten lists to find out.View the Lists
10 Year Road Map
Check out our road map to eliminate tobacco-caused death and disease.View the Road Map