DES MOINES, The American Lung Association released its annual state of tobacco control and the state of Iowa got mixed ratings on its efforts to curb smoking and tobacco usage.
Iowa scored an “A” for its smoke free workplace laws, but that's about the only passing grade listed. Iowa got a “D” for access to smoking cessation services. The state got an “F” for state tobacco prevention funding, level of state tobacco taxes, and for not raising the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21, even though a federal law did that on a national level earlier this year.
While Iowa's smoking rate remains relatively low at 16.6 percent, The American Lung Association says youth vaping is a problem in the state and nationwide.
“We are really at the cusp of seeing another generation of America's kids lost to tobacco,” said Erika Sward with the American Lung Association.
She added, “It’s more important than ever that states and local governments look to prohibit flavored tobacco sales in their communities."
The report recommends Iowa increase its cigarette tax by a $1.50 per pack and equalize the tax on other tobacco products. It also recommends Iowa use that tax money to better fund smoking cessation programs.