However, in several states where tobacco use has caused the most damage, little is done to combat the problem. A new analysis conducted by USA Today found that states hit the hardest by tobacco use often have the least aggressive approach to mitigating the problem. It probably comes as little surprise to learn that the states in question are those known for tobacco cultivation. Despite Kentucky, Georgia and Tennessee having the poorest and sickest residents, they only spend a minor fraction of the federal government’s recommended minimum for tobacco education and enforcement.
States found to be doing the worst with regard to tobacco control and have the highest impact of use include:
- West Virginia
The researchers used government smoking data to create two scores for grading states, an “impact score” and an “aggressiveness score.” The impact score was arrived at by combining smoking rates and the public perception about the dangers of use, the article reports. The aggressiveness score combined:
- State Spending
- Advertising Restrictions
- Severity of Fines for Selling to Minors