Vermont Gets Poor Grade For Smoking Prevention Programs

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A new report from the American Lung Association gives Vermont mixed grades for its tobacco control efforts.

The state received a "B" for its cigarette tax, which is currently two dollars and twenty four cents per pack. But Vermont was given a "D" for it’s investment in tobacco prevention and control efforts.

Rebecca Ryan is with the American Lung Association in Vermont. She says the reason for the low grade is that most of the money the state receives from a settlement with the tobacco industry goes to Medicaid, instead of smoking prevention programs.

Ryan says this report highlights the need for the Vermont legislature to continue to fund the state’s Tobacco Control Program.

(Ryan) "We’re really just hoping for level funding.  The program has had over $700,000 in cuts in the past couple of years, and so we’re encouraging lawmakers to really find a way to make sure that they maintain these vital services to help Vermonters quit smoking and prevent kids from starting." 

(Host) Ryan says statistics show that the state could reduce smoking if it raised its cigarette tax.

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