Illinois Rated Poorly For Anti-Smoking Efforts

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) — The ways Illinois promotes clean air, and discourages smoking, are in for an evaluation from the American Lung Association.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Dave Dahl reports, the state was awarded an A for smoke free air, but that was just about the only good news. Illinois got a D for cigarette taxes, and an F for tobacco prevention and control, according to the Lung Association’s Katie Lorenz.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Dave Dahl reports

So whose job is it to get you to quit smoking?

“It’s absolutely the responsibility of the smoker. They have to want to quit; take initiative themselves to be able to go through that quit process, because it’s not an easy one,” Lorenz said. “We also put out this report card because it’s not easy to quit smoking, and there are things that our state can do to help people quit.”

Lorenz says most smokers start lighting up before the age of 18, and perhaps higher cigarette taxes would discourage that.

A statewide ban on smoking in all indoor public places, including restaurants, bars and places of employment, has been in effect for three years.

But just last week, lawmakers rejected $1-a-pack increase in cigarette taxes, which would have provided money for schools, in the same session where they approved a personal income tax hike of 66 percent.

  • Barbara

    It seems to me that as smokers (with absolutely NO rights), that we PAY for everything. Everytime the city or state looks for money, we get hit with another tax hike. Therefore, I suggest the good people of IL and Chicago quit their respective bellyaching . If it wasnt for us footing most of the bills, it might just start coming out of their pockets.

    • Arelem

      It wouldn’t start coming out of our pockets because the added dollars that smokers cost us in health care could be retasked to fill the gap.

      • TJ

        The obese/overweight people cost just as much, if not more in health care costs than the smokers do .

      • Thomas Dahn

        As a smoker I believe none of the tax dollars should go anywhere else but toward offsetting healthcare costs. There’s no free lunch. It’s gotta come from somewhere; why not the source?

  • Scoop

    Are you serious Barbara? Every consumer in this state pays taxes on their purchases. Certain products have higher taxes than others, typically things that aren’t good for you. If you don’t like the tax rate on cigs, then quit smoking. The only way I can avoid the new 66% increase on my income is to quit my job. That would be rather counterproductive wouldn’t it? The fact that they passed this increase and did not raise the tax on smokes is infuriating to me. The fact that they passed this increase without cleaning up their own wasteful spending is infuriating to me. I’m an ex smoker. When the cost of smoking got too high for my taste, I quit. That was 13 years ago, and I have reaped the benefits of that decision ever since, both financially and health-wise. Poor poor put upon smokers. You pollute our air and litter our streets with your butts. Cry me a river.

    • Thomas Dahn

      Yo, scoop I don’t mind the tax. If I give $5 in tax a day for 40 years that is only 73050 in tax. Yet my hospital bills will soar well beyond that. And, I won’t be around to pay it; I’ll be dead. So, don’t be so infuriated with not taxing smokes it wouldn’t fix any of the gaps in budget anyway. Besides, driving car for an hour will pollute the air more than a smoker will in their entire life.

      • Scoop

        Getting rid of my car is the second best decision I ever made, next to quitting smoking…

  • Pistol Pete

    Hey Scoop. do you drink alcohol if you do shut your trap and maybe go bark at the moon.

    • Scoop

      Yes. I do drink. And I willingly pay higher taxes on the booze I purchase. I don’t cry about it every time it goes up. I have the freedom to choose not to purchase highly taxed items. Isn’t this a great country?

  • Sarah

    Scoop you sound like one of the lefty liberals,whatever we do is fine,but when the other guy does someting the same he’s wrong,I agree with Pistol Pete go bark at the moon .

    • Scoop

      HAHA! That’s the first time I have ever been accused of being liberal.

  • Chester

    Forget about cigarettes. They’re raising taxes on Cheetos soon. Yes, you read that right. Cheetos! Who’se going to stand up for the working, Cheeto-eating common man?

  • FR

    Smoking in bars, etc. is banned for employee’s rights to clean air. What if a smokers bar & grill was staffed entirely by owners and part owners with no employees?

  • Stash

    Hey Scoop,you admitted you drank,do you drive after you drink I bet you do you hypocrit like many others.

  • Golds Health » Illinois Rated Poorly For Anti-Smoking Efforts

    […] Illinois Rated Poorly For Anti-Smoking Efforts The ways Illinois promotes clean air, and discourages smoking, are in for an evaluation from the American Lung Association. Read more on CBS Chicago […]

  • Lefty

    Sarah – You sound like one of those xenophobic, Bible-beating right-of-center wingnuts. How about that for labeling based on political idealogy you moron!

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