'Top of the class'

'Top of the class'

Pasadena gets another ‘A’ in curbing tobacco use   

By André Coleman 02/06/2014

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Several local cities continue to lead the way in the battle against secondhand smoke, but the state is losing that fight, according to the latest grades released in its annual State of Tobacco Control report.     

For the second straight year, Pasadena, South Pasadena and Glendale each received an “A” and were deemed as the
 
“Top of the Class” by the American Lung Association. 
 
“Pasadena received a strong grade because of its newly adopted smoke-free law,” said 
 
Pasadena Tobacco Control Program Project Director Statice Wilmore. “Last year, the city fully implemented laws which prohibit smoking in common areas in apartment buildings, including all units, common areas, patios and balconies. Building owners are required to post ‘No Smoking’ signs in all common areas and inform potential lessees and renters of the ban in their tenant agreements.”

The city’s ordinance also prohibits the sale of tobacco products near schools and parks and restricts smoking on commercial sidewalks. Pasadena’s ordinance also regulates electronic cigarettes. 

“The response has been wonderful,” Wilmore told the Weekly. “People are relieved. They have been suffering for a long time.”

This year, 18 cities received “A” grades. Besides the three local cities, Temecula, Baldwin Park, Compton, Huntington Park, Santa Monica and Calabasas also received perfect scores.

In Northern California, Albany, Berkeley, Contra Costa County, Dublin, Richmond, Marin County, Santa Clara County, San Rafael, and Union City received top grades.
But the state received a “D” and was taken to task for the lack of tobacco prevention programs and low cigarette tax.

“Despite great strides in reducing smoking rates in America, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and illness in the US,” said Anita Lee, Interim CEO of the American Lung Association in California. “We must renew our commitment to stopping tobacco from robbing another generation of Americans of their health and future. We cannot afford another 50 years of tobacco use.”  

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