Fewer Americans are lighting up according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control. But the South and Midwest still lead the nation in the number of smokers.
Nationwide, smoking declined by 2-percent. Greatest progress came in states like California where cigarette taxes are high and smoking cessation programs widely available.
June Deen is the Georgia State Director for the American Lung Association. She says Georgia falls short in prevention and cessation programs, as well as smoke free air laws. She says it’s also time to raise the cigarette tax.
”It is an issue that’s time has come and we are at the bottom portion in terms of states in the amount they charge as a tax for cigarettes. its thirty-seven cents and we are 48th in the nation.”
Efforts in the legislature to raise the cigarette tax have failed due to stiff opposition from retailers.