Sacramento, CA – The American Lung Association released two reports yesterday, the State of Tobacco Control 2012, and California Local Grades. They gave failing grades to most areas of the state including the Mother Lode Counties.
The Overall Tobacco Control Grade included an evaluation of three areas; smokefree housing, reducing sales of tobacco products, and smokefree outdoor air. The outdoor air included the evaluation of outdoor dining, entryways, public events, and recreational areas.
The counties of Tuolumne, Calaveras, Amador, Mariposa and Stanislaus were all given a failing grade. 355 of 538 cities/counties were given an F, only 12 received an A. Those 12 were cities/counties are Albany, Baldwin Park, Calabasas, Compton, Contra Costa County, Glendale, Pasadena, Richmond, Santa Clara County, South Pasadena, Temecula, and Union City.
As a state, California was comparable with many other states. California and 43 other states were given an F for using more than 50% of money intended for tobacco prevention and control programs for other things in the state budget.
25 other states, including California, got an A for having several smokefree air laws. According to the American Lung Association, “California has some of the strongest laws in the nation to protect people from harmful secondhand smoke exposure in the workplace and other indoor areas.”
32 states and California got an F for not doing enough to help tobacco users quit, especially people on Medicaid and state employees. California has a state quitline: 1-800-QUIT-NOW and website http://www.nobutts.org/ but reportedly invests $1.18 per smoker. The CDC recommends an investment of $10.53 per smoker.
Five states received an A for having a tax over $2.92 per pack of 20. California received a D ranking for a tax rate of .87 cents per pack.
If it passes by voters, the California Cancer Research Act (CCRA), on the June 2012 ballot, would increase California’s tobacco tax by $1.00 per pack.
The American Lung Association has published the summary of state tobacco control laws since 1988.