How does your state or country tackle tobacco?
In the USA, states such as California and Massachusetts that pioneered this type of approach were successful in reducing tobacco use. It is also clear that these interventions tend not to just appear out of thin air, but need to be adequately funded. When the funding is cut, we find that the decrease in tobacco consumption slows down or stops.
As we now know which policies are effective in reducing tobacco use, a scale has been developed in order to score or rank countries according to the adequacy of their tobacco control interventions. If you are interested in seeing how 30 European countries scored on this scale you can find out all the details via this link:
In the United States a slightly different but similar approach has been taken by the American Lung Association, who every year publish a scorecard for every state in the nation along 4 key variables: 1. Tobacco control funding 2. Smokefree air legislation 3. Cigarette taxation and 4. Youth access.
Unfortunately, only 9 states obtained an A rating for tobacco control funding – meaning that their annual spending on tobacco control approached the minimum recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. Overall, the most frequent grade was an F, with the federal government also receiving an overall F grade for tobacco control.
The fact that over 2005-6 the two largest tobacco companies contributed $96 million to political party campaigns may have something to do with this.
To see how your state is doing and read the whole report, click on the link: http://www.stateoftobaccocontrol.org/
The single most important thing you can do to ensure that your children and grandhildren will be less likely to smoke and more likely to live a long healthy life, (apart from not smoking yourself), is to vigorously support the funding and implementation of comprehensive tobacco control policies.