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Failing Smoking Grades for TX

By Bill O'Neil

Two "D's" and Two "F's"--the grades for the State of Texas from the American Lung Association in the organization's yearly report on efforts to fight smoking and tobacco use. 

"These are consistent with the grades Texas has been getting" said Michelle Bernth with The American Lung Association, adding "What we're looking for now is a step forward--it's time for Texas to put the health of it's citizens first."  

The State scored failing grades from the organization in tobacco prevention and control funding--as well as smoke free air. D's were recorded for Texas' cigarette tax and cessation coverage. 

While many local communities have enacted tougher smoking standards, Bernth told 550 KTSA News the American Lung Association would like to see a statewide standard. She also expresed frustration with the amount of money Texas spends on efforts to combat smoking--falling far short of what is recommended. 

"In Texas, that's $266 million. Right now, Texas is only spending 5.8% of that recommended minimum level" Bernth said.  

Tobacco use is blamed for nearly 25-thousand deaths every year in Texas.   


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