Walnut Creek Goes From An "F" To A "B" In Annual Tobacco Report

The American Lung Association applauded the city's passage last fall of a new anti-smoking law

American Lung Association's annual tobacco control report
American Lung Association's annual tobacco control report
Walnut Creek's grade on its tobacco control policies has risen from an "F" to a "B."

The American Lung Association released its annual tobacco report on cities and counties on Wednesday.

The report graded local governments in four key areas -- tobacco control and prevention spending, smoke-free air, cigarette tax and cessation coverage.

The report states the battle to reduce tobacco use in most states, including California, has "all but stalled."

Walnut Creek,  however, was lauded as one of eight California cities that showed significant improvement.

The city received an overall grade of "B" for its efforts in 2013 to reduce tobacco use. Last year, it was given an "F" by the association.

This year, Walnut Creek received an "A" for smoke-free outdoor air, an "A" for smoke-free housing and an "F" for reduction of tobacco product sales.

The association applauded the city for the passage last fall of its new anti-smoking law, which takes effect next week.

The law prohibits smoking throughout downtown as well as in apartment, condominiums and within 25 feet of doors and windows.

Councilman Justin Wedel voted against the ordinance and has launched a petition campaign to put the issue on the June ballot.

In Contra Costa County, one city (Richmond) received an "A" as did the unincorporated regions. Three cities received a "B," four cities got a "C," three cities earned a "D" and eight cities were tagged with an "F."

Overall, the lung association says the country must "renew its commitment to eliminate tobacco-caused death and disease."

“Despite great strides in reducing smoking rates in America, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and illness in the U.S.,” said Anita Lee, interim chief executive officer 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."

The reports notes California used to be a leader in tobacco control policies, but now the state is falling behind in these measures.

In this year's report, the number of California cities receiving an "A" rose while the number getting an "F" declined.

However, more than 60 percent of California's municipalities still received "F" grades.

KAC January 22, 2014 at 12:32 PM
Totally impractical and unenforceable law...but just because it's on the books, City of Walnut Creek gets their precious "B" grade, so I guess everyone is happy at City Hall...except for the police if they're actually expected to waste their time with this nonsense. I can see it now - "Sir, put down the cigarette and walk away slowly"...
Davidson Freeman January 22, 2014 at 03:01 PM
I have no idea why anyone thinks our City's laws should be based on what a political lobbying body has to say about what is by and large a personal issue.
Sadie Berkhimer January 22, 2014 at 05:29 PM
This is a non-story from the start. Of course Walnut Creek "earned" a higher grade because they knuckled under to the pressure of no smoking advocates who do the "grading". How silly to even print this press release on Patch. Not news.


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