ASTHO’s tobacco control program serves as a resource on perspectives, capacities, challenges and opportunities to implement state-based tobacco control and prevention initiatives. We provide national leadership in linking and aligning tobacco control with other chronic disease prevention areas such as obesity, cancer, heart disease and stroke.
The overarching goals of this program are to enhance the capacity of state health agency tobacco prevention programs to improve tobacco-related polices and practice; foster environmental, cultural and systems change; and serve as a resource to ASTHO members on tobacco-related initiatives. ASTHO's position statement on Tobacco supports aggressive efforts to reduce tobacco use, tobacco-attributable health disparities, and tobacco-related morbidity and mortality.
50th Anniversary of Surgeon General’s Report on Tobacco
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health. Since the 1964 Surgeon General's report formally established the severe health risks of smoking, the U.S. has made considerable progress on tobacco control. On January 11, 2014, the Office of the Surgeon General released a new report - "The Health Consequences of Smoking — 50 Years of Progress" - that highlights the last 50 years of tobacco control efforts in the U.S., shares new data about health risks of smoking, and provides information about initiatives to reduce tobacco use in the U.S.
September 6, 2013: ASTHO joined the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium and a coalition of state and local public health organizations and their national membership organizations in formally filing a Citizen Petition urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate e-cigarettes, cigars, “little cigars,” hookah and other tobacco products currently free of federal regulation. The petition is currently open for comment here.
November 2013: ASTHO sent a letter urging the FDA to address menthol in cigarettes. ASTHO also signed on to a letter with 24 other organizations asking the FDA to prohibit menthol as a flavor in cigarettes.
January 2014: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement is an agreement on trade that includes the United States and 11 nations around the Pacific. ASTHO recently sent a letter to the White House requesting that tobacco control measures and tobacco products are “carved out” of existing and future trade agreements. Specifically, the “carve out” language must be broad in scope as it relates to tobacco prevention and control and unambiguous in its intent. Malaysia's leadership reportedly has been advocating for a TPP carve-out as well, however, during negotiations held in Singapore in late December, Malaysia may have removed tariffs from their original carve-out proposal. The removal of tariffs may be the only change made to its proposal. After the last round of TPP negotiations, a New York Times article outlined concerns about TPP, prompting a response by its editorial board.
The next round of negotiations is scheduled for late February and negotiations are expected to be finalized in 2014.
E-Cigarettes: A Path to Policy, Perspectives from Local and State Health Departments.
On January 21, 2014 ASTHO and NACCHO co-hosted a webinar
where presenters described policy efforts on a local and state level
addressing e-cigarettes. The webinar provides an overview of electronic
cigarette products and identifies what an e-cigarette is, and describes
the current status of the FDA in regards to e-cigarette regulation and
its implications. Webinar presenters from Minnesota, Chicago, and
Seattle & King County review examples of policies specifically
addressing e-cigarettes and describe resources that are available to
help state and local efforts. A complete recording of the webinar and the webinar slides are available online.
On October 23, 2013 ASTHO sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Hamburg urging the regulation of electronic cigarettes.
For more background and state resources about e-cigarettes, view ASTHO's E-Cigarette Resources page.
ASTHO Tobacco Publications
Comprehensive Tobacco Control: Guide for State and Territorial Health Officials
This booklet is intended for use by state and territorial health officials and their leadership teams to introduce the basic framework that guides state-level tobacco control policies and programs; review the current evidence base that supports the framework; and highlight examples from current public health tobacco control practice.
Coming Soon: Recommendations from the December 23, 2012 “ASTHO Comprehensive Tobacco Cessation Expert Roundtable” led by Dr. Ed Ehlinger (MN), Chair of the Tobacco Issues Forum.
State Case Studies and Webinars
Building Partnerships and Financing Prevention in Medicaid and CHIP. On June 13, 2013, State Health Officials Dr. Mel Kohn (OR) and Dr. Nirav Shah (NY) and their respective State Medicaid Leadership were featured on a webinar in partnership with the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services. View presentation slides or access the meeting summary and additional resources.
Case Study: Michigan Smoke-Free Law Implementation
Michigan's implementation plan maximized resources and used evidence-based strategies to create a successful model for smoke-free law implementation, evaluation, and enforcement that improved air quality in workplaces and food service establishments.
State Story: Texas Promotes Cessation by Increasing Smoking Footage Requirements Outside of Buildings
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) implemented a policy to extend tobacco use restrictions from all DSHS grounds to areas off campus.
State Story: Stand-Up Insurance Coverage of Tobacco Cessation Programs Starts with Oregon
Oregon provides 100 percent coverage and barrier-free tobacco cessation support for its state and university employees and their dependents.
Tobacco Issues Forum (TIF)
The Tobacco Issues Forum is a workgroup led by ASTHO, currently chaired by Dr. Ed Ehlinger (MN) under the guidance of our Prevention Policy Committee and comprised of members and staff from key affiliate and partner organizations. The group serves as an opportunity to share tobacco control activities and resources, identify opportunities to speak in a collective voices, and examine the overall picture of tobacco prevention and control in the states. Learn more »
Supporting CDC Tips from Former Smokers Campaign
The CDC Office on Smoking and Health launched a new phase of the Tips from Former Smokers campaign called Talk with Your Doctor. As part of this effort, CDC provided letter templates to State and Territorial Health Officials to communicate about the campaign with providers in their jurisdictions. ASTHO is collecting samples of letters that were written to local medical societies and chapters of healthcare organizations within States and Territories. Samples letters and accompanying materials have been provided for the following states:
To submit your letter, email Diana Karczmarczyk.
State and Territorial Tobacco Control Strategic Plans
State and Territory Tobacco Control Strategic Plans Tobacco Map
This ASTHO map tool will connect you to each available state and territory Tobacco Control Strategic Plan to see what steps your state is taking to reach their tobacco control goals.
State Legislative Tracking on Tobacco
ASTHO’s State Health Policy team tracks and analyzes legislation across the states to identify trends and emerging issues impacting public health and state health agencies. Tobacco legislation that is tracked includes electronic cigarettes, smoke free laws and taxes.
Tobacco and the National Prevention Strategy
|The National Prevention Strategy provides evidence-based recommendations for 4 Strategic Directions and 7 Priority Areas. ASTHO has developed an online toolkit with resources intended to help state and territorial governments implement the recommendations in the NPS, including one focused on "Tobacco Free Living." To view resources in other areas, click the NPS icon!
ASTHO has also compiled a list of additional background information, recommendations, datasets, and other resources regarding tobacco. These external links provide additional guidance and research about tobacco issues relevant to states. Read more »