The American Lung Association released a report grading every state on their efforts to control tobacco use. Alabama got an F. I took a closer look and for the most part, I do see room for improvement in our state. But there's one demerit against Alabama that I don't think is entirely fair. The American Lung Association gave us an F for lack of smoking cessation programs. They feel that if a state employee wants to quit smoking, the taxpayers should pay for any medication the employee uses. I'm sorry, but I don't think that's my responsibility. So how about this idea: Alabama also got an F for having the fifth lowest cigarette excise tax in the nation—just 42 and a half cents per pack. If they really want us to offer free smoking cessation tools, raise that tax and use it to pick up the tab. I'm willing to help others quit, but only with encouraging words. Not with my tax dollars. I'm Vanessa Oubre and that's my take. What's yours?
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