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Glendora Scores Low in Annual Lung Association Survey

Glendora is given an 'F' in the report, which spotlights what cities are doing to curb outdoor smoking and the sale of tobacco products.

In a repeat of previous years, Glendora received failing grades for their efforts to curb tobacco use in their cities, according to an annual survey by the American Lung Association.

The city received F's in the survey. The only positive grades for the city in the report was for their laws against smoking in public recreation areas.

The annual report, which was released Wednesday, issues grades for all cities and counties in California on local tobacco control policies including those for smokefree outdoor environments, smokefree housing, and reducing sales of tobacco products.

Following the release of the 2012 report in which Glendora was also given a failing grade, City Manager Chris Jeffers dismissed the annual report's grades and argued that the city already enforces state laws on tobacco.

“The council has been always concerned about tobacco use, but at the same time, I think we’re trying to use our time and resources judiciously to get the biggest impact,” said Jeffers. “We don’t have the resources to go around to make sure people aren’t smoking in multifamily housing."

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

“Safeguarding our communities from the negative consequences of tobacco is critical,” said American Lung Association in California—San Diego Chairman Paul Manasjan. “These grades represent real health consequences. We know how to win the fight against tobacco, but it requires strong leadership and action by elected officials at all levels.”

The association also criticized the state for not increasing its cigarette tax since 1999 and spending only 15 percent of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends to adequately fund tobacco prevention programs and services to help people quit smoking.

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, visit www.lung.org/california.

Patch Staff contributed to this report.

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