Iowa’s new report card from the American Lung Association contains three “Fs” and one “C.” The organization gave Iowa a failing grade overall for its efforts, or lack thereof, to prevent smoking. Kathy Drea, spokeswoman for the association’s Iowa chapter, says state lawmakers have drastically cut the amount of money that should be pumped into antismoking efforts. The C-D-C recommends Iowa spend 19-million dollars statewide every year on comprehensive tobacco prevention programs and Iowa’s only spending six-million. Drea says that earned Iowa an “F” for spending, along with “F’s” for the categories of smokefree air and cigarette taxes. She expands on the tax situation.She says Iowa ranks 40th in the U.S. for its per-pack tax of 36-cents. The highest tax in the U.S. is New Jersey which charges two-dollars and five-cents per pack of cigarettes. Iowa’s only passing grade was the “C” in youth access, which Drea says could stand some improvements.Iowa is among 38 states to receive a failing grade from the Lung Association for its efforts to stop people from smoking. More than 440-thousand people die from tobacco-related illnesses each year. Drea says the latest survey finds about 23-percent of Iowa adults smoke as do nearly 33-percent of Iowa high school students and almost 12-percent of middle schoolers.
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