Iowa Gets Failing Grades on American Lung Association Report Card

IOWA  --  The American Lung Association has released its latest report card on tobacco policies in Iowa, and once again the state has failed the test.

Iowa was given an A for the Smokefree Air Act that bans smoking in most businesses, but the state failed when it came to tobacco use prevention and funding, access to cessation services, raising the tobacco age, and tobacco taxes.

The Lung Association says that final area could actually fix the others, as well. If Iowa raised tobacco taxes by $1.50 per pack, it would be able to afford to help others quit.

"It would fund tobacco control programs in every county in the state," said Pat McKone with the ALA. "It would fully fund an ad campaign that would counter the million dollars an hour, at least make some effort at countering it, and it would fully fund cessation services."

The Lung Association says the overall smoking rate in the state is low, but there are certain groups with extremely high levels of tobacco use. This includes those with substance abuse problems and the mentally ill.