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Illinois Rated Poorly For Anti-Smoking Efforts

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A woman lights up. (file/AFP Getty Images)

A woman lights up. (file/AFP Getty Images)

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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.

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