Breaking News
More () »

North Carolina gets straight F's on 'State of Tobacco Control' report

Smoking kills about 1,300 people every day and now a new report from the American Lung Association argues not enough is being done to save lives.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina receiving failing grades in its efforts to control tobacco use, according to a new report released by the American Lung Association

Tobacco is one of North Carolina's biggest industries, but it also brings along some deadly consequences. Smoking kills about 1,300 people every day. The American Lung Association's new report argues not enough is being done to save lives. 

The "State of Tobacco Control" report gives North Carolina an F in every category, which includes prevention, access to services that help people quit and smoke-free air. North Carolina also got a "thumbs down" for having the fourth-lowest tobacco tax in the U.S. The Tar Heel State was one of only four states to get straight F's in the report. 

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app.

South Carolina also got an F in nearly every category. Now, groups across the country are calling for more funding to help folks get away from the bad and unhealthy habit. Despite efforts to get people to quit, American Lung Association officials say the tobacco industry is ramping up its efforts to target specific demographics. 

"They are targeting the southeast in particular, but also certain racial and ethnic groups to continue to use their products," Ashley Lyerly, the senior director of advocacy for the American Lung Association, said. "We know it is ultimately hurting not only our economy, the cost of these products, but also increasing chronic disease and other things across the state of North Carolina."

The American Lung Association is calling for the North Carolina General Assembly to make big changes, including increasing funding for tobacco control education programs and adding more restrictions on e-cigarette devices, which are often popular with kids.

You can stream WCNC Charlotte on Roku and Amazon Fire TV, just download the free app.

But it likely wouldn't come without a fight. tobacco has been a key industry in the Carolinas for centuries producing billions of cigarettes every year.   


Flashpoint is a weekly in-depth look at politics in Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond with host Ben Thompson. Listen to the podcast weekly.
SUBSCRIBEApple Podcasts || Spotify || Stitcher || Google Podcasts 

Locked On is the leading podcast network for local sports and is owned by WCNC Charlotte's parent company TEGNA.
Listen to Locked On here.  

Wake Up Charlotte To Go is a daily news and weather podcast you can listen to so you can start your day with the team at Wake Up Charlotte.  
SUBSCRIBEApple Podcasts || Spotify || Stitcher || TuneIn || Google Podcasts   

All of WCNC Charlotte's podcasts are free and available for both streaming and download. You can listen now on Android, iPhone, Amazon, and other internet-connected devices. Join us from North Carolina, South Carolina, or on the go anywhere. 



Before You Leave, Check This Out