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Imperial Beach Gets 'F' Grade from Lung Association

The state of California also received failing grades from the American Lung Association and the rest of San Diego County is mostly lagging behind too.

Imperial Beach received a failing grade in the the American Lung Association's annual report about governmental tobacco policies.

The city also received F grades for efforts to curb tobacco use in public places, smokefree housing and reducing tobacco sales.

El Cajon and Solana Beach received overall B grades in the county. No local cities received A's.

The annual report, released Wednesday, 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 smokefree 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.

“Safeguarding our communities from the negative consequences of tobacco is critical,” said American Lung Association in California—San Diego Chairman Paul Manasjan. “These grades represent real health consequences. We know how to win the fight against tobacco, but it requires strong leadership and action by elected officials at all levels.”

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.”

To view the complete California report, including grades for cities in San Diego County, visit www.lung.org/california.

Libi Uremovic January 21, 2013 at 01:01 PM
'... Time to significantly raise the tobacco tax and ban public smoking altogether....' i once had a woman complain to me about the guys sitting outside the building smoking...i said to her: 'did you just drive up in that big suv? ... i'll sit in a room with a smoker and you sit in a room with your big suv running and let's see who dies first.." taxes and fees are to pay for costs to self and society...tobacco already pays a much higher percentage of taxes than booze - which does far more damage to self and society.. in this country obesity has almost surpassed tobacco as the leading cause of death....19% of the population smokes tobacco, but over half the population is now considered overweight or obese...http://www.doctorslounge.com/primary/articles/obesity_death
Lorenzo January 26, 2013 at 12:15 AM
"Three decades ago, public outrage killed an automobile model (Ford's Pinto) whose design defects allegedly caused 59 deaths," he wrote. "Yet every year tobacco kills more Americans than did World War II — [or] more than AIDS, cocaine, heroin, alcohol, vehicular accidents, homicide and suicide combined." -George Will. Confirmed by PolitiFact, check it out. Additionally, Kenny Goldberg of KPBS Radio's recent article follows. SAN DIEGO — California has the second-lowest adult smoking rate in the country. But California's teen smoking rate is not as low as in some other western states. The latest figures show 13.8 percent of California teens smoke. That's lower than the national average, but not as low as the rates in other western states like Washington and Utah. About 18 percent of San Diego County teens smoke. That's the highest rate of any county in California. The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids says more than 34,000 California teens pick up the habit every year. Tobacco control advocates say the state could curb youth smoking by raising tobacco taxes. California's 87-cents-a-pack tax is the 33rd highest in the nation. A ballot measure to raise the tax by a dollar a pack failed last spring.
Mike G January 29, 2013 at 03:57 AM
Libi nailed it. If you drive you are far more problem than solution. I don't smoke but I don't buy into this B.S. second hand smoke theory either. Yeah it smells bad, but your god damned car spews forth far more noxious crap than some self-destructive idiot's cigarette. BTW the state would probably be broke without the tobacco tax revenue.
Pop Quiz January 29, 2013 at 05:02 AM
Zealots are scary. Please stay in your hermetically sealed worlds. In the outside world people have choices (freedom). They will make choices you and I may not like. Smoking, cussing, and not showering regularly come immediately to mind. But it is only freedom if we can choose.I Don't smoke, but the second hand smoke theories/propaganda have more holes than facts. More taxes is always the wrong answer. It just breeds more government bloat. The public is a fascinating group. But buck up, they smoke,stink and listen to crappy music. We should be tolerant of others even when they are annoying and smelly.
Libi Uremovic January 29, 2013 at 03:26 PM
for whatever good the amer lung ass may have started out...they are now just another lobbyist group who's sole purpose is to grab more taxpayer dollars... there are parts of the country that still smoke in restaurants ...if cali 'gets an f'...where does that leave the rest of the country...? the only reason we're seeing this 'report' is because cali didn't pass another tobacco tax in november .. i personally didn't vote for the tax because it was not to pay for costs to society, but to create another 'study'....which is code for 'layer of bureaucracy' we don't need any more 'study'....all of the information is available...science has already proven the cause and effects of smoking... smoking causes health problems and raises the odds of an early death ...but that is their choice... the taxaholics need a new fix - i suggest they turn to booze which has much lower tax yet does far more harm to self and society.... booze attributes not only to health & mental problems, but it's a major player in car wrecks, child abuse, & domestic violence... ...but 2/3 of adults in the states drink booze ....

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