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Los Altos, LAH, Earns ‘F’ for Tobacco Policies

The state of California also received failing grades from the American Lung Association.

 

The American Lung Association in California gave the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills an F rating for the municipalities' tobacco policies.

The annual report, which was released this week, issues grades for all cities and counties in California on local tobacco control policies, including those for smokefree outdoor environments, smokefree housing, and reducing sales of tobacco products.

Overall, the association said the state of California "falls short in adequately funding tobacco prevention programs to protect children and curb tobacco-caused disease." California earned an A grade for its smoke-free air policies but received a D for its low cigarette tax, an F for failing to adequately fund tobacco prevention and control programs, and another F for poor coverage of smoking cessation and treatment services.

“Cities and counties in California have always led the way with strong tobacco control policies, and that continues to this day,” said Fred Lurmann, Chair of the Leadership Board of the American Lung Association in California – Greater Bay Area. “Safeguarding our communities from the negative consequences of tobacco is critical. The low grades represent real health consequences.”

The association also criticized the state for not increasing its cigarette tax since 1999 and spending only 15 percent of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends to adequately fund tobacco prevention programs and services to help people quit smoking.

There are about 3 million new youth smokers in the U.S. and 34,400 in California every year. About 37,000 deaths are caused by tobacco use, according to the U.S. Surgeon General.

“We need to do more to fight the influence of tobacco interests in California politics,” said American Lung Association in California Chairwoman Marsha Ramos. “Our state elected officials have an opportunity to change course in 2013 and make big strides in the fight to end tobacco-caused death and disease. It’s going to take a great deal of political will, but we are confident our elected officials are up to the challenge. Our children’s health is depending on them.”

Santa Clara County State of Tobacco Control 2013 Overall Grade Smoke-free Outdoor Air Smoke-free Housing Reducing Sales of Tobacco Products Campbell B A F B Cupertino F D F F Gilroy F D F F Los Altos F D F F Los Altos Hills F F F n/a Los Gatos F D F F Milpitas F D F F Mountain View D C F D Palo Alto D C F F Saratoga D D F D

To view the complete California report, visit www.lung.org/california.

James Thurber January 19, 2013 at 05:27 PM
Despite our low grades I cannot remember the last time I smelled cigarette smoke on a Los Altos street. As a 4th grade teacher one of my key duties is to convince my students to make healthy choices. Fortunately we live in a state where smoking is becoming a very rare occurrence. It's easier not to start something when you don't see anyone else doing it. I think that our state (and our society) is headed in the right direction. A final comment: "California, you're doing a great job. Keep up the good work."

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