Annual State Smoking Report Cards


This year's census included 15 questions designed to measure respondents' adoption of the Best and Promising Practices for LGBT Tobacco Prevention and Control developed by LGBT HealthLink in 2012 as a response to the growing need for best practices knowledge at the state level. These questions, when scored, formed the basis for states’ LGBT and tobacco report card grades.

A new best practice category, Promoting LGBT Professionals In Public Health, was added to the census this year. A summary of best practices, along with their corresponding questions, is below:

Best Practice 1: Include LGBT community members in policy planning steps (Max 3 points)

  • Have a tobacco disparity plan that includes LGBT populations?
  • Have LGBT representatives on state level planning group(s)?

Best Practice 2: Establish cultural competency standards for statewide programs (Max 3 points)

  • Trained tobacco control staff on LGBT cultural competency?

Best Practice 3: Monitor the impact of tobacco on LGBT populations (Max 3 points)

  • Collect LGBT tobacco data through the following?
    • Quitline Demographic
    • Adult Tobacco Survey
    • Youth Behavior Risk Survey
    • Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System
    • Community Based Surveys
  • Analyze LGBT data from any of these surveys annually?

Best Practice 4: Fund community-based programs to help reduce LGBT tobacco disparities (Max 4 points)

  • Currently provide LGBT specific programming through community-based organizations (CBOs) or non-CBOs 
  • Have any programs to provide LGBT-specific technical assistance to organizations that need it?
  • What tobacco programming funding opportunities, if any, are available to LGBT communities in your state? 
  • Does this state have any plans to work with LGBT communities in tobacco cessation or prevention work?

Best Practice 5: Routinely integrate LGBT-tailored efforts into larger tobacco and wellness campaigns (Max 6 points)

  • Have tailored LGBT tobacco educational/promotional materials and/or cessation materials?
  • Routinely include LGBT tailored work in mainstream tobacco and wellness campaigns?
  • Used any resources from LGBT HealthLink in the last two years?

Best Practice 6: Disseminate findings and lessons learned (Max 3 points)

  • Routinely disseminate data/findings about LGBT tobacco control?

Best Practice 7: Promote LGBT professional safety and leadership in the tobacco arena (Max 3 points)

  • Promoted inclusion of LGBT professionals in employment practices? 
  • Have any programs to build leadership on tobacco control among LGBT community members?

In addition to the scored questions, this year's census included seven questions measure about states’ engagement with LGBT HealthLink and determine how LGBT HealthLink can continue to support states' LGBT tobacco prevention and control efforts.

Tobacco Control Officers from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, were invited to respond to the 2016 State LGBT and Tobacco census. Timeline for the process is as follows:

June 2016 States, Puerto Rico, and District of Columbia receive letters from LGBT HealthLink notifying them of the census and inviting them to an informational webinar
July 2016 Informational webinar occurs; participants are encouraged to contact LGBT HealthLink directly for additional support prior to the initiation of the census. Census opens online; a weblink is emailed to tobacco control officers
August 2016 Online census remains open through August 5
September 2016 Census data is aggregated and analyzed


There were a total of 25 points possible. The distribution of scores is as follows:

25 to 21 100% - 84% A+ to A-
20 to 17 80% - 68% B+ to B-
16 to 10 64% - 40% C+ to C-
9 to 2 36% - 8% D
1 to 0 4% - 0% F
Region2016 Mean Grade2016 Mean Score%Number of Respondents
Midwest B- 17 69% 9
South C+ 15 60% 13
Northeast C- 11 43% 7
West B 18 73% 13
ALL* C+ 16 63% 43