Nevada once again received failing grades for its tobacco control policies in the latest report card from the American Lung Association.
Last year, the state received “F” grades in all but one category. This year, the state again received a “C” for smoke-free air, while earning failing grades in every other category, including tobacco prevention and control program funding, tobacco taxes, access to cessation services and restrictions on flavored tobacco products.
“The surge in youth vaping combined with the fact that smoking increases the chance of severe COVID-19 symptoms, make it more important than ever for Nevada to implement the proven measures outlined in State of Tobacco Control to prevent and reduce tobacco use,” JoAnna Strother, the association’s senior director of advocacy, said in a press release alongside the report.
The problems present in Nevada are also common throughout the rest of the country. The association’s 19th annual State of Tobacco Control report, released Wednesday, gave failing grades to 41 other states for tobacco prevention funding and to 32 states for their tobacco tax policies.
The report calls for significant policy changes to combat the use of tobacco and the ongoing youth vaping epidemic.
The latest data on youth smoking from 2019 shows that more than 21 percent of high schoolers in Nevada used tobacco, but a new federal law passed in late 2019 that raised the minimum age to 21 for tobacco product sales helped decrease youth tobacco sales in the state last year.
Even with decreased youth sales, the association still noted that the lack of restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco products is a serious problem and recommends policies that remove them from the marketplace, as youth vaping and tobacco use is largely driven by flavored tobacco products.
“By removing that, we can really take a