Intervention Aroostook: 2.2.2021
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -The grades are out on how the state of Maine is tackling issues involving smoking. There’s some good news to report, but as Shawn Cunningham finds in this week’s Intervention Aroostook, there is more work to be done in a few particular areas.
Maine is making the grade in three key areas when it comes to reducing the toxic habit of smoking.
The annual report put out by the American Lung Association gives Maine grade A’s in three areas: Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs...the Strength of Smoke free Workplace Laws and Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco. But where Maine is strongly lagging earrning a Grade C is Level of State Tobacco Taxes.
Lance Boucher Sr. Division Dir. for State Public Policy, American Lung Association
“Maine has not raised our tobacco tax in 16 years we used to have one of the highest taxes on tobacco products in the Northeast and now we have the second lowest and raising the price of tobacco products is one of the most effective ways to stop youth from initiating their use and to encourage other people to make a quit attempt.”
Shawn Cunningham NO STANDUP
But the grade C wasn’t the worst..Maine got a FAILING GRADE in Ending the Sale of All Flavored Tobacco Products.
“we know flavored tobacco attracts and hooks too many Americans to a lifetime of addiction and we are calling on the Maine legislature to remove menthol cigarettes and all flavored tobacco products from the marketplace.”
He says its an epidemic now in seeing more young people pickup the practice of vaping...
“these new products look like flash drives they key fob looking devices theyre easy to use in the classroom.”
And in responding to the differing point of view that these products can have an impact on people wanting to quit smoking he says...
“the FDA has not approved these e-cigarettes as a safe or effective way to help smokers quit and switching to an electronic cigarette is not quitting your tobacco addiction we would encourage people to use the approved products of cessation or counseling..”
And on the issue of Maine becoming a legalized marijuana state...and the impact that could have on a new generation of smokers...
“but again it goes back to inhalation of anything into your lungs is not safe or something we would recommend.”
The State of Tobacco Control” 2021 report can be viewed on the American Lung Association website. Shawn Cunningham, NS 8.
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