American Lung Assoc. Fails Alabama on Tobacco Prevention Programs

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BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- In terms of protecting children against the influence of tobacco companies marketing campaigns, Alabama gets a big "F," according to the American Lung Association.

Actually multiple "F's."

In the association's "State of Tobacco Control 2013," Alabama received the following grades for 2012:

-- Tobacco Prevention and Control Program Funding: F

-- Smoke-free air: F

-- Cigarette Tax: F

-- Cessation Coverage: F

Alabama was one of a handful of states, many in the South, that received "F's" in all four grading categories. Some cateogries were laden with "F's" such as Tobacco Prevention and Control Program Funding in which all but 10 states received the bottom grade.

The report was an assessment of the progress of policies and programs that the lung association deems important to protect people from "the enormous toll tobacco use takes on lives and the economy," according to an association press release.

The report said the state gets $236 million in tobacco-related revenue every year but it only re-invests a small percentage of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends on these programs.

Tobacco kills about 7,500 people in the state every year and costs the economy $3.6 billion in health-care and lost productivity, the report stated.

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