Each year, the American Lung Association issues a "report card" on tobacco control policies for each state. They evaluate each state in 4 areas: tobacco prevention, smokefree air, tobacco taxes and access to cessation services.
New Jersey earned an "A" in smokefree air. Although smoking is still permitted in the state's casinos, the law does cover most other indoor public areas. The state also earned 2 F's-for tobacco prevention and access to cessation services. This is unchanged from last year.
There was a significant drop in the grade for tobacco taxes this year. In 2014, New Jersey was given a "B", but this year, that grade dropped to "D." The reason for the drop is that a bill to make the taxes on cigars, little cigars and other tobacco products equal to the tax on cigarettes has stalled. That same bill would also dedicate a portion of the increased revenue to tobacco control.
If the Legislature and the Governor were to take action on this bill, it would address two of the areas where New Jersey is sorely lacking. We continue to advocate to address this critical public health threat.