The American Lung Association releases its State of Tobacco Control 2009 report. Wisconsin looks good.

In protecting citizens from tobacco-related illnesses, the report gives Wisconsin generally pretty good grades. So says Dona Wininsky with the American Lung Association of Wisconsin. The state got one F — for tobacco control program funding.

“That reflects the fact that program funding was cut yet again. It’s been cut several times in the budget over the past few years … clearly we’re not up to snuff.”

Wininsky says, historically, Wisconsin has gotten all Fs. So, despite the one F this time around, she’s pretty happy with the two Bs Wisconsin scored.

“Yeah, the Bs are good. The Bs I’m real pleased with. We are the fifth highest in the nation in terms of cigarette tax. There are still a few, a handful of states that are considerably higher than ours, which is why we got the B instead of an A on that.”

Wisconsin’s cigarette tax is $2.52 a pack. Add the $1.01 federal tax for a total of $3.53 a pack.

Wininsky explains the other B grade, “We also do quite well in the cessation coverage that’s provided to state residents who want to quit smoking.”

The state also received an Incomplete in the category of ‘smoke-free air,’ which will certainly become an A next time around, because Wisconsin will implement a statewide smoking ban beginning July 5th.

Smoking-caused illness remains the number-one preventable cause of death in the U.S., killing more than 393,000 Americans each year and costing the economy more than $193 billion. Another 50,000 Americans die from exposure to secondhand smoke.

Jackie Johnson 1:56


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