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Southwest States Receive Low Grades For Tobacco Control Efforts

Debora Cartagena, CDC

According to the American Lung Association, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas all received Fs for their tobacco prevention efforts. That’s primarily because the states aren’t spending amounts recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

Texas got the worst grades in the Southwest, including an F for smoke-free air and restrictions.

Arizonareceived high marks with a C for the amount of taxes assessed on cigarettes - $2.00 a pack.

New Mexico received a B for its spending on smoking cessation coverage.

“New Mexico had the highest cessation grade in the country,” said the American Lung Associations JoAnna DeMaria. “That’s due to our extensive coverage by insurance plans and our investment per smoker for the quit line.”

New Mexico spends nearly $7 per smoker looking to quit, while on the other end, Nevada dropped about a dollar per smoker. The CDC recommends cessation programs spend about $10.50 per smoker.

Nationally, states averaged out to a D for tobacco prevention efforts.