The American Lung Associationd a failing grade to Glendora in its annual State of Tobacco Control 2012 report, an analysis on local governments’ tobacco control policies.
The city earned one of the lowest grades in Los Angeles County, earning an overall grade of “F.”
According to the report, more must be done at all levels of government to address the millions of lives affected by secondhand smoke and smoking-related diseases and illnesses.
"Local elected officials can and should take steps to protect the residents of their communities from tobacco and secondhand smoke by passing policies to restrict smoking in parks and other outdoor areas, require apartment units to be nonsmoking and prevent illegal sales of tobacco products to youth,” the report states.
But City Manager Chris Jeffers dismissed the report’s findings as an agenda to eliminate public tobacco use, claiming the city already enforces state laws on tobacco control.
“They have a goal and their goal is to stamp out smoking,” said Jeffers. “That’s fine, but what they’re doing is trying to put pressure on local governments to put more and more restrictions on smoking.”
The annual tobacco report grades local cities, counties and all 50 states and District Columbia.
The grades were based on four tobacco control areas, including tobacco control and prevention spending, smoke free air, cigarette tax and cessation coverage.
Glendora received a “D” in “Smokefree Outdoor Air” and an “F” in “Smokefree Housing” and “Reducing Sales of Tobacco Products.”
According to the report, the study incorporated recent state legislation, which authorizes landlords to prohibit smoking in units they manage. The report also claims cities and counties are allowed to go beyond state law in enacting secondhand smoke restrictions for multi-unit housing by establishing their own local ordinances on tobacco control.
While Jeffers said public health is a local concern, enforcing smoking regulations beyond state laws are not the council’s priority.
“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.
“It’s already illegal to sell tobacco to minors and most businesses already have stickers that say that,” said Jeffers. “I would just hope that people realize on their own that tobacco use is not healthy.”
Despite current state laws on tobacco use and regulation, the report criticizes the progress of state tobacco control efforts.
“Once a national leader in tobacco control policies, California now earns mixed results,” according to the report. “While California earned an A for smoke free air policies, the state receives an F for failing to adequately fund tobacco prevention and control programs, another F for poor coverage of smoking cessation treatments and services, and a D for its low cigarette tax. Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, California now ranks 33rd for its $.87 per pack tax, far below the national average of $1.46.”