MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia received four failing grades from the American Lung Association in its annual “State of Tobacco Control” report.
The report grades the 50 states on policies and laws aimed at curbing tobacco use.
“Overall, a lot of great work has been done in West Virginia,” said Molly Pisciottano, the ALA’s advocacy director for West Virginia and Pennsylvania. “We could do more and be able to help more people if we could reach these goals on this report card and raise these grades.”
Leading up to the 50 states’ grades, the ALA makes some overall observations about tobacco use.
In the midst of COVID-19, ALA notes that the U.S. Surgeon general’s office has linked smoking to immune system suppression and that the CDC says smoking increases the risk of COVID infection.
ALA added a new category this year: flavored tobacco policies. It says flavored tobacco products have a disproportionate effect on certain communities. For example, more than 80% of Black Americans who smoke use menthol cigarettes; menthol cigarettes are also favored among LGBTQ smokers, pregnant women and low-income smokers…