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American Lung Association gives Connecticut poor marks for fighting tobacco use

Ron Cruz

Connecticut earned low to middling grades — two Fs, two Bs, and a C — on its report card from the American Lung Association this week. The group rolled out its annual report detailing tobacco use from state to state on Monday.

The state received an “F” on its report card for its continued sale of flavored tobacco products. In addition, the report said almost a third of all Connecticut high schoolers say they use tobacco.

Connecticut is also the only state in the nation that doesn’t use any out of state funding for tobacco control programs, which earned the state its second “F.”

Ruth Canovi, the advocacy director for the American Lung Association in Connecticut, said the solution is adequate funding — which the state has lacked in previous annual reports as well.

“We see over $470 million related to tobacco-related revenue, and we’re spending zero of that on preventing young people from starting to get addicted to these products,” she said. “That’s really problematic, and we need to do more.”

Connecticut also received two Bs because the state ranked second in the nation for having the highest taxes on tobacco products, and for the state’s smoke free workplace laws. It received a “C” for coverage and access to services that help quit tobacco.

A native of South Dakota, Eda Uzunlar is a freelance reporter at WSHU.