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Pinole Earns ‘C’ for Tobacco Policies; Hercules an 'F'

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

The American Lung Association in California gave the city of Pinole a C rating for its tobacco policies, while giving Hercules an F.

The annual report, which was 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 elsewhere in Contra Costa County, visit www.lung.org/california or click on the PDF attached to this article.

Selina Williams January 18, 2013 at 07:32 PM
It was very surprising to find out that CCC and Hercules do not have any ordinances banning smoking in multi-unit buildings. Second hand smoke in multi-unit housing is a big problem. I would like to see all new multi-unit buildings in Hercules adopt an indoor smoking ban.
Contra Costa Tobacco Prevention Coalition January 18, 2013 at 07:52 PM
The City Council needs to hear how important this issue is to its residents! The Contra Costa Tobacco Prevention Coalition is a group of residents and organizations that is working on secondhand smoke protections and reducing illegal sales of tobacco to minors in cities across the county. You can get involved or make a complaint about secondhand smoke by emailing us at cctobaccopreventioncoalition@gmail.com.
Susan Tarvin January 19, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Hoping we earn an A in the future, and do something collectively to ban smoking in public spaces, particularly near all schools, parks, government offices and all commercial businesses. I notice that in the Creekside Shopping Center, there are lots of folks hanging outside shops smoking. Really unattractive. It's not something that makes you want to walk into their shop. We all need to be protected from second hand smoke.
jon cyr January 19, 2013 at 03:44 PM
Tobacco Subsidies in the United States totaled $1.3 billion from 1995-2011. While we want better education and Tobacco Prevention.....THIS SHOULD BE A SLAM DUNK! FOR OUR CONGRESS/SENATE, PRESIDENT. Even the Supreme Court. STOP ALL SUBSIDIES FOR TOBACCO NOW...but nothing will be done.

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