Report: South Dakota lags behind in tobacco control efforts

Photo courtesy: MGN

(KSFY) - A new report by the American Lung Association has given South Dakota a failing grade when it comes to efforts to reduce tobacco use.

The ALA released its 16th annual "State of Tobacco Control" report on Wednesday.

The following are grades researchers gave South Dakota leaders concerning tobacco use prevention:

Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F
Smokefree Air - Grade B
Level of State Tobacco Taxes - Grade F
Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco - Grade F
Minimum Age of Sale for Tobacco Products to 21 – Grade F

South Dakota ALA Director Pat McKone said that while smoking rates have declined, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease.

“Tobacco use is a serious addiction, and the fact that 22 percent of adults and 30 percent of high school students in South Dakota use tobacco highlights how much work remains to be done in our communities to prevent and reduce tobacco use," McKone said, via a press release.

ALA researchers say an estimated 1,250 South Dakotans die each year from tobacco-related illness. The adult tobacco use rate is 22 percent, above the national average of 16.4 percent.

McKone suggested state leaders work to increase tax on tobacco products and raise the age of sale for all tobacco products to 21.