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El Cerrito Maintains "F" Grade in Tobacco Report for Third Year

American Lung Association gives El Cerrito another "F" in this year's 'State of Tobacco Control' report.

American Lung Association's annual tobacco control report
American Lung Association's annual tobacco control report
By David Mills

The city of El Cerrito received a "F" grade in rankings issued Wednesday in the American Lung Association's annual "State of Tobacco Control 2013" report.

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."

El Cerrito received a total of zero points for lack of smoke-free outdoors areas and housing, in addition to having no new policies for reducing the sales of tobacco products. The city was also given an "F" by the association in previous years.

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.

Nicholas Arzio January 22, 2014 at 02:52 PM
Cigarette butts are a real issue in El Cerrito. Volunteers remove thousands of butts from the Ohlone Greenway, Creek Areas and San Pablo Ave each month, only to see them return in force. They are disgusting to look at, tarnish the image of our city, and often find their way down storm drains and into the bay. I wish the city could mirror San Francisco by passing a $.20/pack cigarette litter abatement fee
Susan January 23, 2014 at 03:05 PM
gee, Richmond received an A? I wonder what all the other cities are doing that El Cerrito is not doing!
Russell January 23, 2014 at 04:09 PM
I do not like seeing the butts scattered all over the place either but please let's not encourage the El Cerrito City Council to impose yet another tax. Our sales tax is out of control as it is.
Susan January 23, 2014 at 09:44 PM
you are right about that! One of the highest sales tax rates in the state!
Nicholas Arzio January 23, 2014 at 11:14 PM
Haha, I hear you . . . but seriously, smokers should be held responsible for cleaning up their own "butts". Myself and other volunteers can't keep up.

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