Ohio Failing in its Efforts to Reduce Tobacco Use


Staff Report



ACS CAN Celebrates 10th Anniversary of

Ohio’s Smoke-Free Workplace Act

and Calls for Ohio to Pass Strong Tobacco Control Policies

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) celebrated the 10th anniversary of Ohio’s Smoke-Free Workplace Act and called on Ohio’s lawmakers and governor to pass and implement polices proven to reduce tobacco use by encouraging people addicted to quit and help prevent young people from starting.

On November 7, 2006, the voters of Ohio supported a statewide ballot initiative which required that all public places, and places of employment, prohibit smoking. This initiative took effect thirty days later on December 7, 2006 making this Wednesday, December 7, 2016, the 10th anniversary. Ohio was the first Midwestern state and the first tobacco-growing state to enact such a ban.

“We know that smoke-free laws are good public health policy. The Smoke-Free Workplace Act stimulated a reduction of the adult smoking rate from 2007-2009, and continues to have positive health impacts through increased air quality and reduced emergency room visits for various pulmonary conditions associated with second-hand smoke” said Jeff Stephens, government relations director, ACS CAN.

A poll released by ACS CAN showed that Ohioans strongly support the Smoke-Free Workplace Act. The poll was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies in June of 2016 and indicated that the favorability for Ohio’s Smoke-Free Workplace Act has climbed to 85 percent. The support is broad-based and universal with virtually every demographic group – Republicans and Democrats alike – favoring the law. There is little difference in the favorability by geographic, racial, gender, age and ideological lines. The poll found that even strong majorities of Tea Party supporters and smokers back the law.

The number of supporters for the Smoke-Free Workplace Act has continued to climb over the years. The Smoke-Free Workplace Act was initially supported by voters at 58.52 percent in 2006. At the 5-year anniversary, in September 2011, the Ohio Department of Health released a collection of five reports that showed that 73 percent of adult Ohioans either strongly approved or approved of the Smoke‐Free Workplace Act.

The polling data also confirms that Ohio voters have consistently supported increasing tobacco taxes. Furthermore, 70 percent favor taxing other tobacco products such as cigars, smokeless tobacco, and chewing tobacco, at the same rate at cigarettes. These products are currently taxed at a much lower rate than cigarettes and remain an affordable gateway to tobacco addiction for our youth. Once again, the support is similar across party lines.

Additionally, the polling data reported that voters overwhelmingly believe it is important to fund programs to prevent and reduce tobacco use among kids, and help all smokers quit.

“The burden of tobacco use in Ohio remains staggering. In 2014, 7,500 cancer deaths were directly attributable to tobacco use and the annual cost to our health care system is $5.64 billion, this all is preventable.” said Stephens. “Ohio lawmakers must respond to the 92 percent of voters that indicate the importance of funding tobacco prevention and cessation programs. The positive return on this investment is evidence-based and proven.”

Fifty years of evidence demonstrates what works in tobacco use prevention and cessation: the combination of regularly and significantly increasing tobacco taxes, investing in tobacco prevention and cessation programs that use Centers for Disease Control -proven best practices and comprehensive smoke-free laws that cover all workplaces.

ACS CAN calls on Ohio lawmakers to increase the cigarette tax by at least a $1.00/pack and equalize the tax on other tobacco products. Additionally, they recommend an investment of $35 million in tobacco use prevention programs and cessation services and continued protection of Ohio’s Smoke-Free Workplace Act.

Methodology

Public Opinion Strategies completed the statewide telephone survey of 600 registered voters in Ohio. Interviews were conducted on both landline and cell phones (the survey included 240 interviews among cell phone respondents). The survey was completed June 22-26, 2016 and has an overall margin of error of +/-4.0 percentage points.

About ACS CAN

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.acscan.org.

American Lung Association’s ‘State of Tobacco Control’ report finds Ohio has a lot of work to do to protect citizens, youth from the harms of tobacco use, secondhand smoke

The American Lung Association’s “State of Tobacco Control” report (http://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/tobacco/reports-resources/sotc/) has found that in 2016 Ohio failed to do enough to implement proven-effective policies that would save lives. The 15th annual report grades states and the federal government on policies to prevent and reduce tobacco use. The report shows that most states and the federal government earned poor grades. Ohio has not increased the age of sale for tobacco products to 21 years old.

“Tobacco use is the leading cause of death and disease in our nation, and 21.6 percent of Ohio residents currently smoke,” said Ken Fletcher, Director of Advocacy of the American Lung Association in Ohio. “We know what works when it comes to preventing and reducing tobacco use, what we need is Ohio policymakers to implement the policies and programs called for in ‘State of Tobacco Control’ that would save lives and protect kids from a lifetime of addiction.”

The “State of Tobacco Control” report documents the progress and failures of the states and the federal government to address tobacco use, and the report assigns grades based on whether federal and state laws protect Americans from the enormous health toll tobacco use takes on lives and the economy. This year, the report has added a new grade on efforts to increase the minimum sales age for tobacco products to 21.

“Close to 95 percent of adult smokers try their first cigarette before the age of 21,” said Fletcher. “Increasing the minimum age of sale for tobacco products to 21 will significantly reduce youth tobacco use and save thousands of lives nationwide.”

This year’s “State of Tobacco Control” finds Ohio’s mixed grades show that much more must be done by our Governor and State Legislature to pass proven-effective policies that will reduce tobacco use and save lives:

  • Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F
  • Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws – Grade A
  • Level of State Tobacco Taxes – Grade F
  • Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco – Grade F
  • Minimum Age of Sale for Tobacco Products to 21 – Grade F

The American Lung Association in Ohio calls on Ohio to act to match the tax on non-cigarette forms of tobacco; increase funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs; and pass Tobacco 21 laws to increase the minimum age of sale for tobacco products to 21 in additional cities in the state.

In this year’s “State of Tobacco Control,” the federal government earned an “F” for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Regulation of Tobacco Products. Although the American Lung Association applauds the release of the final rule that gave FDA authority over all tobacco products, the report recognizes the Obama Administration’s failure to proceed with other key initiatives including requiring graphic warning labels on cigarettes and the federal government’s failure to move forward on issuing a rule to end the sale of menthol cigarettes nationwide – despite the recommendations from an FDA expert advisory committee.

Other federal grades include a “C” for Federal Coverage of Quit Smoking Treatments, an “F” for Level of Federal Tobacco Taxes and a “B” for its Mass Media Campaigns, including the Tips from Former Smokers Campaign.

“It’s not a secret how to reduce tobacco use in this country. ‘State of Tobacco Control’ looks at proven methods to save lives and prevent our children from becoming the next generation hooked on tobacco,” said Fletcher. “We must demand that Ohio elected officials urgently act to implement these proven policies that will save lives and prevent tobacco-caused death and disease.”

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Staff Report

ACS CAN Celebrates 10th Anniversary of

Ohio’s Smoke-Free Workplace Act

and Calls for Ohio to Pass Strong Tobacco Control Policies

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) celebrated the 10th anniversary of Ohio’s Smoke-Free Workplace Act and called on Ohio’s lawmakers and governor to pass and implement polices proven to reduce tobacco use by encouraging people addicted to quit and help prevent young people from starting.

On November 7, 2006, the voters of Ohio supported a statewide ballot initiative which required that all public places, and places of employment, prohibit smoking. This initiative took effect thirty days later on December 7, 2006 making this Wednesday, December 7, 2016, the 10th anniversary. Ohio was the first Midwestern state and the first tobacco-growing state to enact such a ban.

“We know that smoke-free laws are good public health policy. The Smoke-Free Workplace Act stimulated a reduction of the adult smoking rate from 2007-2009, and continues to have positive health impacts through increased air quality and reduced emergency room visits for various pulmonary conditions associated with second-hand smoke” said Jeff Stephens, government relations director, ACS CAN.

A poll released by ACS CAN showed that Ohioans strongly support the Smoke-Free Workplace Act. The poll was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies in June of 2016 and indicated that the favorability for Ohio’s Smoke-Free Workplace Act has climbed to 85 percent. The support is broad-based and universal with virtually every demographic group – Republicans and Democrats alike – favoring the law. There is little difference in the favorability by geographic, racial, gender, age and ideological lines. The poll found that even strong majorities of Tea Party supporters and smokers back the law.

The number of supporters for the Smoke-Free Workplace Act has continued to climb over the years. The Smoke-Free Workplace Act was initially supported by voters at 58.52 percent in 2006. At the 5-year anniversary, in September 2011, the Ohio Department of Health released a collection of five reports that showed that 73 percent of adult Ohioans either strongly approved or approved of the Smoke‐Free Workplace Act.

The polling data also confirms that Ohio voters have consistently supported increasing tobacco taxes. Furthermore, 70 percent favor taxing other tobacco products such as cigars, smokeless tobacco, and chewing tobacco, at the same rate at cigarettes. These products are currently taxed at a much lower rate than cigarettes and remain an affordable gateway to tobacco addiction for our youth. Once again, the support is similar across party lines.

Additionally, the polling data reported that voters overwhelmingly believe it is important to fund programs to prevent and reduce tobacco use among kids, and help all smokers quit.

“The burden of tobacco use in Ohio remains staggering. In 2014, 7,500 cancer deaths were directly attributable to tobacco use and the annual cost to our health care system is $5.64 billion, this all is preventable.” said Stephens. “Ohio lawmakers must respond to the 92 percent of voters that indicate the importance of funding tobacco prevention and cessation programs. The positive return on this investment is evidence-based and proven.”

Fifty years of evidence demonstrates what works in tobacco use prevention and cessation: the combination of regularly and significantly increasing tobacco taxes, investing in tobacco prevention and cessation programs that use Centers for Disease Control -proven best practices and comprehensive smoke-free laws that cover all workplaces.

ACS CAN calls on Ohio lawmakers to increase the cigarette tax by at least a $1.00/pack and equalize the tax on other tobacco products. Additionally, they recommend an investment of $35 million in tobacco use prevention programs and cessation services and continued protection of Ohio’s Smoke-Free Workplace Act.

Methodology

Public Opinion Strategies completed the statewide telephone survey of 600 registered voters in Ohio. Interviews were conducted on both landline and cell phones (the survey included 240 interviews among cell phone respondents). The survey was completed June 22-26, 2016 and has an overall margin of error of +/-4.0 percentage points.

About ACS CAN

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.acscan.org.

About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.

View Online: http://readme.readmedia.com/Ohio-Failing-in-its-Efforts-to-Reduce-Tobacco-Use-Finds-American-Lung-Association-National-Tobacco-Report/14513036

About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.

View Online: http://readme.readmedia.com/Ohio-Failing-in-its-Efforts-to-Reduce-Tobacco-Use-Finds-American-Lung-Association-National-Tobacco-Report/14513036