American Lung Association gives Virginia an “F”

Posted at 5:54 PM, Jan 19, 2012
and last updated 2012-01-20 16:02:15-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -  Virginia gets a failing grade once again from the American Lung Association. In its annual tobacco control report, the association assigned an F to the Commonwealth for lack of smoking restrictions, a low cigarette tax, cessation and limited tobacco prevention control and spending.

Keenan Caldwell with the American Cancer Society says his organization works closely with the Lung Association to curb smoking habits. Caldwell tells CBS 6, he is “not surprised by the failing grades because the tobacco industry spends $400 million dollars a year, marketing its products here in Virginia.”

Caldwell says the smoking ban in restaurants is ineffective and the ban should be implemented in more public places.  He says increasing the cigarette tax from $.30 to $1.45 would be more effective and cause people to think twice before lighting up.

Virginia is one of six states to get all F’s from the American Lung Association.