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American Lung Association Gives Arcadia 'D' for Tobacco Policies

Still, the city is ahead of the state, which received failing grades in several areas.

The American Lung Association in California gave Arcadia a D rating for the city's tobacco policies.

The annual report, which was released earlier this week, issues grades for all cities and counties in California on local tobacco control policies, including those for smoke-free outdoor environments, smoke-free housing, and reducing sales of tobacco products.

Arcadia has made strides in its efforts to curb tobacco use. The city recently banned smoking in parks and recreation areas, thereby raising its ALA tobacco policy rating from an F to a D.

"We are pleased that Arcadia is among 45 cities and counties in the state that have raised their grade over previous years," City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto said. "We are also pleased that we are no longer among the nearly two-thirds of all cities and counties in the state that receive an F each year. Arcadia will continue to review its tobacco control policies with an eye toward further enhancing our grade; however, we also must ensure that our policies do not unnecessarily infringe upon personal rights and freedoms."

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 poor coverage of smoking cessation and treatment services, and another F for failing to adequately fund tobacco prevention and control programs.

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 Los Angeles County, visit www.lung.org/california.

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