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Lung Association releases State of Tobacco Control 2015 report

The American Lung Association released its annual State of Tobacco Control 2015 report. The report grades all 50 states and the District of Columbia on four key tobacco control policy areas.  In addition, the American Lung Association in California has released a California version of the report which issues grades for all 482 incorporated cities and towns and all 58 counties in our state. Local grades in California are awarded in three categories: Smokefree Outdoor Air, Smokefree Housing, and Reducing Sales of Tobacco Products. Bonus points are provided in a new category called Emerging Issues.

Both reports are designed to increase public awareness about the impact of tobacco in our state and local communities, and to provide encouragement, where appropriate, to our leaders to improve our tobacco control policies.

This year’s report shows that while California earned a B for its smokefree air policies, the state received an F for its low tobacco taxes, an F for failing to sufficiently fund tobacco prevention and control programs, and a D for poor coverage of smoking cessation and treatment services.

These grades reflect the fact that while once a national leader in tobacco control policies, California’s efforts are now lagging. Exacerbating California’s weakened position on tobacco prevention, the state has not increased its cigarette tax since 1999 and now ranks 33rd in the country at 87 cents per pack.  States including Texas, Oklahoma and Montana now have higher tobacco taxes than California.

This is why the American Lung Association in California is standing with Save Lives California, a broad coalition dedicated to passing a lifesaving $2 per pack tobacco tax – either through the legislature or by ballot measure – by the end of 2016.  By passing this measure, we will not only save the lives, we also will save California taxpayers billions in health care costs.

Click here to take action and encourage your legislator to join this lifesaving effort.

In addition, a letter has gone to every city council and board of supervisors in the state to inform them about the report and encourage them to visit our website to get their grades. And this morning we will distribute a copy of the State of Tobacco Control 2015 report and the California local grades report to every member of the California Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown. 

Please enjoy reading the report and share it with your colleagues and networks. I invite you to our website to view a full copy of the State of Tobacco Control 2015 report and to see your city and county’s grades at lung.org/california. And join us on Facebook to share your thoughts. 



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