State Gets Award for Anti-Smoking Efforts

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The American Lung Association has awarded Arkansas an 'A' for its spending on tobacco control and prevention.

The association issues an annual report on progress at the state and federal leve in several categories.

The state rated an 'A' for its spending on programs and for its smoke-free air laws.

Last year the state spent $17.5 million on programs to cut tobacco use.  The state's comprehensive program began in 2001.  The Health Department says there is a 43 percent reduction in the number of current teen smokers from 2000 to 2007.

There is also a 58 percent reduction in the proportion of teens who smoke frequently and a 15 percent reduction in the number of current adult smokers from 2002 to 2007.

The department says exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace, homes and automobiles dropped between 2002 and 2006.

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