The American Lung Association (ALA) recently released the 2008 edition of the annual State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues (SLATI). SLATI tracks the passage of legislation and other state policies related to tobacco control and prevention, including tobacco taxes, smoking restrictions, and funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs for all 50 states and Washington DC.
The ALA states that according to their findings, last year was a slow one for tobacco-control policies on the state level. The ALA report shows that few states took steps toward curbing tobacco use by passing comprehensive smokefree laws and raising taxes on cigarettes.
According to SLATI, in 2008:
• Two states adopted comprehensive laws prohibiting smoking in workplaces, restaurants and bars, bringing the tally up to 24 states plus the District of Columbia.
• Three states and the District of Columbia passed increases in tobacco taxes.
• On April 10, Rhode Island’s cigarette tax increased to $3.46 per pack to make it the highest in the country.
• On April 1 the federal cigarette tax increased to $1.01 per pack.
Information from the 2008 SLATI report is available for download as a full report, and it can also be found broken down by state through an interactive map. Both are available online.