Despite Smoking Bans, Missouri Still Receives "F"

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COLUMBIA - Friday marks the third anniversary of the University of Missouri's smoking ban prohibiting smoking 20 feet from building entrances, exits, windows and fresh air intake systems. Since then, Mizzou has reverted to a new policy allowing smoking only in designated smoking areas as of July 1 last year.

Despite the University's actions to provide a healthier environment, the state of Missouri as a whole was one of six states to receive straight F's on the American Lung Association's tenth annual State of Tobacco Control report. Missouri received F's in all four categories which include: tobacco prevention, smoke-free air, cigarette tax and cessation. The ASA's report states that Missouri currently has the lowest tax on packs of cigarettes in the nation at 17 cents per pack. The American Lung Association's website states, "most states' efforts to protect children and curb tobacco-related disease have been, in a word, abysmal."

The one positive Missouri did see on the report was a "thumbs up" for Missouri for expanding its quit-smoking coverage for people on Medicaid.

KOMU received several reactions on Facebook after initially posting this story. One reaction reads, "They can grade Missouri as harshly as they'd like...that still doesn't give the State the right or the authority to tell people how to live their lives. This is coming from a non-smoker who HATES being around smoke, too."

Only four states received all passing grades on the report.