Highlights: PennsylvaniaIn 2013, the American Lung Association in Pennsylvania continued its tobacco prevention and cessation advocacy efforts in the Commonwealth.
Emphasis this past year was placed on funding for Pennsylvania's tobacco prevention and cessation program. Gov. Tom Corbett's Administration designated $14.2 million for tobacco control in the fiscal year 2014 budget which is the same amount allocated in 2013. This is considered a victory since many other public health programs received no funding or drastic decreases.
Unfortunately, the funding could be in jeopardy due to an unfavorable arbitration ruling in September 2013 in an ongoing dispute over Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) payments between the state and tobacco product manufacturers that participate in the MSA. If the ruling is not overturned, the tobacco companies would keep most of Pennsylvania's MSA payment that it is due to receive in April 2014. The Lung Association, along with public health partners in the state, is exploring potential solutions to the problem, including increasing the cigarette tax and establishing a tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes to replace the lost revenue.
All of the money from the Master Settlement Agreement was originally dedicated to be used for uncompensated healthcare, tobacco cessation and prevention, research and healthcare assistance. While 12 percent of the funds coming into Pennsylvania were dedicated to tobacco prevention and cessation in the law, lawmakers have routinely decreased this amount as a result of temporary fiscal code changes. The Lung Association continues to advocate for raising this amount to the level recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Pennsylvania's clean indoor air law eliminates smoking in many public places and workplaces, including most restaurants, but it has a number of exemptions, including for casinos and some bars. A bill to remove all the exemptions was filed in both the state House of Representatives and Senate in 2013, but neither was heard or released from committee. The Lung Association will continue to work on cleaning up the current law to protect all workers in Pennsylvania from secondhand smoke.
A bill was also introduced in the Senate to require comprehensive coverage of tobacco cessation treatments under private health insurance plans issued in the state. Sadly, the bill did not even get a hearing.
In 2014, the American Lung Association in Pennsylvania will focus its efforts on the fight to protect people from the dangers of secondhand smoke, prevent kids from starting to smoke and motivate adults to quit.
Pennsylvania State Facts
|Economic Cost Due to Smoking:||$9,423,966,000|
|Adult Smoking Rate:||21.4%|
|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 2012 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
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