National Report Card gives N.H. 'F' for protecting women against tobacco
The Smoke-Free NH Alliance, the American Lung Association of NH, American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association recently highlighted the national release of Women and Smoking: A National and State-by-State Report Card. This report, conducted b
The news in New Hampshire isnâ€™t encouraging.
According to the report card, overall smoking rates among adult women and rates among pregnant women exceed national rates, said Diane Smogor, Program Director, American Lung Association of New Hampshire. Deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) also exceed national rates, ranking New Hampshire in 46th and 47th place respectively.
The Granite State also scored poorly in terms of death due to lung cancer.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., said Clarissa Garcia, NH Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator, American Cancer Society. It inflicts a terrible toll on both the smoker and her family.
Also addressed in the Women and Smoking Report Card are policy indicators that reduce tobacco use. New Hampshire scores particularly low in the areas of cigarette excise tax, tobacco prevention funding, and youth access restrictions. Strong policies in these areas have been demonstrated as effective in reducing tobacco use in states that have implemented them.
Debbie Hornor, Executive Director for the Smoke-Free NH Alliance, says that progress can be made if policymakers respond.
The poor grade that New Hampshire received as part of this national assessment should serve as a wake-up call for anyone who cares deeply about the health of our wives, mothers, daughters and other women who impact our lives daily, Hornor said. The good news is that tobacco related disease and death are preventable. The challenge remains in motivating legislators and other policy makers to make the critical policy changes that must be made to save the more than 700 women who die each year in New Hampshire because of our failure to respond.
The report, entitled Women and Smoking: A National and State-by-State Report Card, can be found in its entirety online at www.smokefreenh.org.