Arizona Receives Three ‘F’ Grades on Tobacco Control Report


By Jessica Swarner

February 4, 2020

The American Lung Association says Arizona could be doing more to reduce its number of tobacco users.

Arizona received three failing grades out of five categories in a new report on tobacco control. 

The American Lung Association report, released Jan. 29, gave the Grand Canyon State an “F” for tobacco taxes, minimum age for tobacco products, and tobacco prevention and cessation funding. 

According to the report, Arizona’s state and federal funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs totaled only about 29% of what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends — $18,795,283 compared to $64,400,000. 

Arizona got top marks in one category: an “A” for smokefree air.

The report also pointed out that smoking is prohibited in Arizona workplaces, schools, restaurants/bars, retail stores, and more, although e-cigarettes are not included in those bans. Tribal establishments are also exempt from those laws. 

For the last category, the state received a “C” for access to cessation services. 

While all smoking cessation medications are covered under Arizona Medicaid and state employee health plans, only some counseling is covered. 

The ALA recommended Arizona improve its score by taking three actions:

  • Pass statewide retailer licensing of tobacco products
  • Increase state tobacco taxes by at least $1 per pack
  • Increase funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs

Overall, Arizona’s rate of adult tobacco use is just over 20%, according to the report.

The CDC says tobacco use is the country’s leading preventable cause of disease and death.


  • Jessica Swarner

    Jessica Swarner is the community editor for The Copper Courier. She is an ASU alumna and previously worked at KTAR News 92.3 FM in Phoenix.

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