ALA puts out State of Tobacco Control report

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A new report says that South Dakota is lagging behind the nation when it comes to reducing and preventing tobacco use.

The American Lung Association in South Dakota put out its 2018 State of Tobacco Control report Wednesday. The report calls for state policymakers to do more to prevent death and disease that stem from using tobacco products.

“Nationwide, smoking rates have continued to decline to historically low levels, yet tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease, killing more than 1,200 South Dakota residents each year,” said Pat McKone, senior regional director for tobacco control and advocacy for the Lung Association in South Dakota.

The association has given F ratings to Governor Dennis Daugaard and the South Dakota legislature in several categories including level of state tobacco taxes and funding for state tobacco prevention programs. According to the report, a B rating was given for smoke free air.

According to the report, the adult smoking rate in South Dakota is 18 percent which is above the national average smoking rate of 16.4 percent. The association also says that 1,250 South Dakotans die each year from tobacco-related illnesses.