The American Lung Association released the State of Tobacco Control 2012, an annual report that provides grades to the federal government and all 50 states and the District of Columbia on four key tobacco control areas. In conjunction with this national report, the American Lung Association in California released the State of Tobacco Control 2012 – California Local Grades, which issues grades to all cities and counties in California on local tobacco control policies including those for smoke free outdoor environments, smoke free housing, and reducing sales of tobacco products. To view the complete report, visit www.lung.org/california.
Baldwin Park, Compton, and Pasadena all passed ordinances in 2011 and raised their overall grade to an A. They join three other cities in Los Angeles County (Calabasas, Glendale, and South Pasadena) with an overall A grade. The two biggest cities in the region, Los Angeles and Long Beach, both received an overall C grade. Fifteen cities in Los Angeles County passed an ordinance and improved their grade in at least one of the grade categories in 2011. However, there are still many cities in the region that need to do more to adopt local policies to protect residents from the harmful effects of tobacco.
Once a national leader in tobacco control policies, California’s efforts are now lagging. The state received an F for failing to adequately fund tobacco prevention and control programs and a D for its low cigarette tax. California currently ranks 33rd among the 50 states and the District of Columbia for its $0.87 per pack tax, far below the national average of $1.46. While California earned an A for smokefree air policies, the state received another F for poor coverage of smoking cessation and treatment services.
The California Cancer Research Act will be on the June 2012 ballot.
“Now is the time for California to raise the grade,” said Jane Warner, President and CEO, American Lung Association in California. “The California Cancer Research Act is an historic opportunity for California voters to provide more than $855 million annually to fund research for cancer and other tobacco-related diseases as well as proven tobacco prevention, education, and law enforcement efforts which will prevent 228,700 kids in California from becoming addicted smokers.” The California Cancer Research Act is strongly supported by the American Lung Association in California, the American Cancer Society, and the American Heart Association. More information can be found at www.californiansforacure.org.
The California Cancer Research Act ballot measure would increase the state’s tobacco tax by $1.00 per pack and dedicate revenues to the treatment, prevention and, ultimately, cures for lung disease, heart disease and stroke, cancer and other tobacco-related illnesses. The measure also would triple state funding for tobacco prevention and cessation efforts.
In 2011, a total of 45 cities and counties adopted new tobacco control policies to protect their citizens from the harmful effects of tobacco. While many jurisdictions took action to adopt strong policies and improve their grades, a total of 355 cities and counties – 66 percent of all jurisdictions in the state – received an F for their overall tobacco grade.
“In 2011, cities in Los Angeles County, and especially Baldwin Park, Compton and Pasadena, continued to make tremendous strides in protecting residents from secondhand smoke exposure and keeping tobacco products out of the hands of kids,” said Sue Padernacht, member of the Leadership Board of the American Lung Association in California – Los Angeles. “But in 2012, elected officials and all California voters can do even more to raise the grades and save lives by passing the California Cancer Research Act.”