N.D. smoking ban boosts tobacco control grades, Minn. grades worsenNorth Dakota's grades got better in one category. Minnesota's grades got worse in one category.
By: Herald Staff and Wire Reports, Grand Forks Herald
BISMARCK — The passage by North Dakota voters last November of a comprehensive indoor smoking ban has boosted the state’s grades in an annual tobacco "report card" from the American Lung Association.
North Dakota got two A grades — for policies to provide smoke-free air and for funding tobacco control and prevention programs at 99 percent of the federally-recommended level. Last year the state got a C for smoke-free air.
Two other grades remained unchanged. The state got an F for its low cigarette tax of 44 cents a pack and a C for programs to help smokers quit. Though it spent $11.86 per smoker, more than the $10.53 recommended by the federal government, there remained barriers to coverage by the state Medicaid program.
Minnesota’s grades stayed the same except in one category.
The state got an F for funding tobacco prevention and control programs. It spent only 36.7 percent of the federally-recommended amount. It got an A for smoke-free air, and a C for its cigarette tax, which was at $1.60 a pack.
The big change was in programs to help smokers quit. Minnesota moved from a D to an F. Spending per smoker dropped from $1.73 to $1.32.
For more info: To see the 2013 report, www.stateoftobaccocontrol.org/state-grades. To see the 2012 report, tinyurl.com/tobaccoreport2012.