- January 27th 2012
The federal government took important steps to combat tobacco use in 2011, including extending quit-smoking benefits to federal employees, providing partial payment for states that offer tobacco counseling for Medicaid recipients and pushing graphic warning labels for cigarettes.
States, however, did a poor job of tackling tobacco-related issues, said the American Lung Assn.'s 10th annual report on tobacco-control initiatives. No states enacted strong smoke-free-air laws in 2011, and some cut funding to smoking prevention and cessation programs.
"We're talking about a vast, ongoing health crisis," said American Lung Assn. President and CEO Charles D. Connor.
In addition to its impact on individual lives, tobacco use costs the country nearly $193 billion annually in health care costs and lost productivity, he said.
In June 2011, the Food and Drug Administration released images of nine graphic warning labels, including a man smoking through a tracheotomy hole and a small chil [Read more]