The ‘Tobacco Control State Highlights 2010’ report was released yesterday. You can read it here: Tobacco Control State Highlights 2010.
The report provides state specific data and info with regard to tobacco control strategies. The report highlights successes and draws attention to areas that need improvement. One important note as you are reading is that the majority of the data stems from 2008 or earlier. While some of the data may not be recent, it still has relevant use that continues to lend support to our programs and strategies. While Arizona tends to fair well, a few points listed below tend to distort the actual reality of tobacco control in Arizona.
The report indicated that Arizona provides no Medicaid coverage for tobacco use. For the past two years BTCD has engaged in the NRT+ (nicotine replacement therapy) initiative with AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System). Through this initiative, NRT benefits (e.g. gum, lozenge, patch and medication) are provided at no cost to qualified AHCCCS recipients. The program has shown steady growth since it began.
With regard to media intensity, Arizona is shown slightly below the curve. In part, this is due to a strategic decision when we launched our youth prevention campaign, “Brought to you by Addiction.” The majority of which targets youth on the Internet.
In 2008 we were ranked 14th in tobacco control revenue spent, but by 2010 many states had their tobacco funds (MSA and/or taxes) swept, rendering Arizona as the 4th highest in the U.S. This is a tragic story for many states, and has created an upswing in tobacco use across the U.S.
BTCD Chief, Wayne Tormala