California Gets Failing Grade for Tobacco Control

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The report card didn’t have all bad news -- California got an “A” for some of the strictest secondhand smoke laws in the country.

But Paul Knepprath of the American Lung Association of California says the state is way behind in spending money to keep smoking rates down. Particularly, for young people. 
“California is just spending over 78 million dollars in tobacco control programs so we’re far below the minimum recommendation by the CDC by several hundred million dollars.”
Knepprath says California’s 87 cents a pack cigarette tax got a “D” – 29 other states have higher taxes. And he says the state’s low rate of insurance coverage to help you quit smoking also received a failing grade.

The report looked at individual cities as well. It ranked them on smoke-free outdoor areas and housing and cutting back tobacco sales. Oakland had the highest mark – a “B”. Los Angeles and Sacramento a “C”, San Diego…got a “D”…and Fresno…an “F.”