UM Professor Confirms Missouri's Failing Grade in Tobacco Control
COLUMBIA - A University of Missouri professor said Thursday she is not surprised by the state's failing grade on the American Lung Association's annual State of Tobacco Control report.
Linda Lair, a registered respiratory therapist, said Missouri should raise its cigarette tax in order to generate money for education and prevention as well as smoking cessation programs. The current tax on a pack of 20 cigarettes is 17 cents, the lowest in the United States.
"I think the raising of the taxes is a win win situation because on one hand you'll have the extra revenue coming in for the education stuff and plus for the people who arn't die hard smokers and won't pay more for cigarettes, it's motivation for them to quit." Lair said.
This is the fourth year Missouri has recieved a failing grade on the American Lung Association report. According to the association, nearly 10,000 Missourians die every year due to smoking related illnesses.
Lair said the low grades should remind Missourians that more work still needs to be done to stop and prevent tobacco use.