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Lung Association calls for stricter smoking laws in Delaware

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Sarah Mueller
/
Delaware Public Media

The American Lung Association says the state of Delaware should go even further with its laws regulating smoking. 

Delaware raised the legal age to purchase tobacco products in the state to 21 last year. 

The Lung Association praises this action in its annual report on government tobacco policy, but Delaware got mixed reviews in the overall assessment. 

The ALA’s Chief Mission Officer Deborah Brown is based out of Newark. She recommends the First State put more tax dollars towards programs to help people quit and to keep young people from starting smoking. 

“Funding of tobacco control programs really helps us to counter the close to $9.5 million in predatory marketing that the tobacco industry deploys,” said Brown.   

Brown says Delaware is already spending $7.4 million annually for these programs, but the CDC recommends the state boost that amount to $13 million. 

Brown says tobacco use rate is 20.7% and the youth use of e-cigarettes is 13.6%.

The Lung Association also recommends the state add taxes on cigars, smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes to match the existing $2.10 state tax on packs of cigarettes. It also recommends a ban on all flavored tobacco. 

“The American Lung Association believes that the only effective way to protect our young people from a lifetime of tobacco addiction is through a comprehensive policy measure that includes all flavors and all tobacco products, including but not limited to, menthol cigarettes, cigars and smokeless products be removed from the market,” said Brown.   

Brown supports a bill being drafted by Delaware House Democrats to ban flavored e-cigarettes.

An annual report from the American Lung Association says Delaware should add more laws to regulate smoking. 

The First State raised the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21 last year. 

But the Lung Association’s Chief Mission Officer Deborah Brown says Delaware should also ban all flavored tobacco.

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