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South Pasadena Gets 'A' for Tobacco Policies

South Pasadena fared much better than the state, which received failing grades in several areas, according to a report from the American Lung Association.

The American Lung Association in California gave the city of South Pasadena an A rating for its 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 smokefree outdoor environments, smokefree housing, and reducing sales of tobacco products.

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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