West Hollywood scored an “F” in the American Lung Association’s (ALA) annual “State of Tobacco Control” study for 2016.
The report grades all 50 states and the federal government on four tobacco control policies: tobacco control and prevention spending, smoke-free air, tobacco taxes and cessation coverage. Its California local report grades all 482 cities and 58 counties on policies for smoke-free outdoor air, smoke-free housing and taking steps to reduce sales of tobacco products.
“This year’s report shows that much still needs to be done to protect citizens from the deadly effects of tobacco use,” the ALA said in press release. “The Lung Association and its partners continue to call for immediate action by all levels of government to achieve three bold goals: reduce smoking rates currently at about 18% to less than 10% by 2024; protect all Americans from secondhand smoke by 2019, and ultimately eliminate the death and disease caused by tobacco use.
West Hollywood got credit for banning smoking in outdoor dining areas and service areas. But it got an overall grade of D in the “smoke-free outdoor air” category because of the lack of control of smoke in entryways, at public events, in recreation areas, on sidewalks and at outdoor areas at workplaces. By contrast Santa Monica got a score of 11, which contributed to its overall grade of A. West Hollywood was acknowledged in the “emerging categories” section of the report for the city council’s decision last February to require those selling tobacco to obtain city license. Councilmember Lindsey Horvath, who introduced that proposal, said there was evidence it would reduce illegal sales to minors which would put the retailer’s license at risk.
West Hollywood got an F in the smoke-free housing category. That was based on a lack of regulations requiring non-smoking apartments, condominiums and common areas. Among other Westside cities, Santa Monica ranked high with a B.
WeHo also got an F in the tobacco retailer licensing category (while Santa Monica got an A), although it scored a bonus point for a recent ordinance restricting the location of tobacco retailers.
Among other nearby cities, Culver City got an overall B grade and Beverly Hills got a C. The City of Los Angeles also got a C.