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Montana receives an “A” for smoke free air laws - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

Montana receives an “A” for smoke free air laws

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(MTN News photo) (MTN News photo)

A new report from the American Lung Association gave Montana an “A” grade for its smoke-free air laws, but said the state could do more to prevent tobacco use.

The “A” was based on the restrictions Montana has in place as well as enforcement and penalties for violating those restrictions. For example, in Montana, smoking is not allowed in schools, restaurants or bars.

The American Lung Association graded states on a variety of tobacco-related categories from tobacco prevention funding to the legal age for tobacco purchases.

Montana received a “C” grade for access to cessation services, a “D” grade for prevention and cessation funding and tobacco taxes, and an “F” for not raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21.

The association is calling on lawmakers to increase funding for prevention and to increase cigarette taxes by at least a $1.50 a pack.

Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and in Montana. The report says smoking contributes to more than 1,500 deaths in Montana a year. Fewer than 25 percent of adults in Montana use tobacco, but almost 50 percent of high school students use tobacco products.

The report also states that Montana’s economic cost due to smoking is almost $500,000. For the full report click here.

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