By City News Service
Despite improved efforts by a smattering of cities, efforts to reduce tobacco use have essentially ground to a halt in most cities in Los Angeles County, according to a report released today by the American Lung Association.
The "State of Tobacco Control 2014" report called on cities across the state to renew their commitment to reducing tobacco use through policies restricting sales, providing smoke-free housing and limiting exposure to second- hand smoke.
The report assigned letter grades to cities across the state. The points are assigned by a review of various tobacco-control policies, ranging from smoking restrictions at restaurants and public areas to smoke-free housing and restrictions on tobacco sales near schools and parks.
Ventura County did not fare well on the report card. Of the 11 communities graded, six received a F and four, including Moorpark, received a D.
The report credited some cities for making improvements in tobacco- control policies.
Statewide, the report gave California an A grade for its smoke-free air policies, but a D for having a low cigarette tax, an F for insufficient funding of tobacco-prevention and control programs and an F for poor coverage of smoking treatment services.
More than 60 percent of cities in the state received an overall F grade.
"The policies reflected in this report demonstrate the leadership at the local level to ensure that all Californians breathe clean and healthy air," according to Marsha Ramos, chair of the Lung Association's California Governing Board. "No matter how big or small the city or county, local tobacco- control policies save lives. Tobacco use continues to take a tool on the lives of both adults and kids, so these grades represent real health consequences."