North Dakota recently received the absolute worst grade possible from the American Lung Association, when its performance at tobacco control underwent its annual assessment.

That's right, folks: an F.

Most who live here would agree, there's some pretty good stuff going on in North Dakota. It's one of the most affordable places in the country to live; its residents rank among the happiest in the nation; and it's just a darn nice place to live.

Unfortunately that trend doesn't hold when the subject changes to the ALA's 2016 State of Tobacco Control Report, on which the state gets the dreaded F in the area of tobacco taxation.

North Dakota did better in other areas of the assessment, receiving a C for access to cessation (resources for kicking the habit) and an A for both smoke-free air and prevention and control program spending.

Placing a high tax on tobacco products is the most effective way to prevent their abuse, particularly in children. North Dakota places a 44-cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes, one of the lowest in the country.