According to the American Lung Association National Tobacco Report, Michigan is failing in efforts to reduce tobacco use.
The 2016 report found Michigan to score a mix during its grade period and one of those scores was an “F” in the ‘State of Tobacco Control.’
Other federal grades included a “C” for ‘Federal Coverage of Quit Smoking Treatments’ and a “B” for ‘Mass Media Campaigns.’
When it comes to making better grades for the 2017 report, Director of Advocacy, Ken Fletcher said there will be a lot of changes including raising the cigarette tax, and changing the age of cigarette buyers.
“In Michigan it’s illegal to sell tobacco to people as young as 18. You know we find a lot of people who have their first cigarette younger than 18. Well how do they get their hands on it? You know they get it from friends, or a social network. Well a 16 year old may have a friend whose 18 and smokes and gives them cigarettes, but they are as likely to have a friend whose 21, 22, or older that’s willing to do that so by raising the age to 21 not only do you cut it off to 18 and 19 year old’s, but you also reduce those who are starting to smoke,” he explained.
As a whole Michigan has a higher rate of smokers, than the U.S. Michigan is at 20.7 % and the national average is 16.8%. The average pack of cigarettes in Alpena County cost $6.40.