Iowa Gets Mixed Grades in American Cancer Society Report Card

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  The American Cancer Society is giving Iowa lawmakers mixed reviews on their performance in the last year on tobacco issues.

On Thursday the group released its annual "How Do You Measure Up?" report.  The report is a report card for each of the 50 states on their tobacco laws and spending on smoking programs.

Iowa got high marks for its Smoke Free Air Act and changes in the law allowing better access to Medicaid and pain management for cancer patients.  However the state go low marks for its spending on tobacco prevention funding.  The ACS says it will address that and another big problem in the state next legislative session.

"In 2018 we're going to be introducing a bill to raise the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack. Raising that level of tax increases revenue by $100 million," says Noah Jensen Tabor with the ACS in Iowa, "We're having budget issues here in Iowa. Raising that tax increases revenue and its a wonderful win for public health. We're saving lives and increasing revenue."

The ACS is also pushing Iowa to keep teenagers out of tanning beds and to raise the legal smoking age to 21.