City Council is considering stepping up local enforcement of state law that prohibits the sale of tobacco to minors.

Gilroy and Morgan Hill didn’t do so well in the 12th annual State of Tobacco Control 2014 report released Wednesday by the American Lung Association.
Scores were given to 14 cities in Santa Clara County, plus a score for unincorporated areas. Seven cities got an F – including Gilroy – and Morgan Hill was given a D. Unincorporated county got the only A and Campbell scored the highest with a B.
Gilroy scored zeroes in the grading categories of “Smokefree Housing” and “Reducing Sales of Tobacco Products.” The city’s one out of a possible 12 points was awarded in the category of Smokefree Outdoor Air for “dining” and “recreation areas,” according to the report.
Overall, Morgan Hill got three out of the possible 12 points. Like Gilroy, it received zero points in the “Smokefree Housing” and “Reducing Sales of Tobacco Products” categories but did a little better in the “Smokefree Outdoor Air” category.
The report, which grades all California cities and counties on key tobacco control policies, states that tobacco use “is still a health crisis 50 years after the first Surgeon General’s report on smoking,” and that the battle to reduce smoking has “all but stalled in most states.”
“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 CEO 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. We cannot afford another 50 years of tobacco use.”
The report tracks yearly progress on key tobacco control policies at federal and state levels, assigning grades based on whether laws are adequately protecting citizens from “the enormous toll tobacco use takes on lives and the economy,” according to a press release from the American Lung Association.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic 1964 Surgeon General’s report that linked smoking to lung cancer and other diseases for the first time, according to the association.
The report issued grades for all 482 cities and 58 counties in California on local tobacco control policies. Of those, 330 cities and counties – more than 60 percent of all municipalities – received an F for their overall tobacco grade, the press release reads.
“The policies reflected in this report demonstrate the leadership at the local level to ensure that all Californians breathe clean and healthy air,” said Marsha Ramos, Chair of the American Lung Association California Governing Board. “No matter how big or small the city or county, local tobacco control policies saves lives. Tobacco use continues to take a toll on the lives of both adults and kids, so these grades represent real health consequences.”
The American Lung Association identifies the three largest cigarette manufacturers as Altria, Reynolds American and Lorillard, who in 2013 “continued their aggressive expansion into tobacco products other than cigarettes.”
“These companies continue to maintain their stranglehold on America’s youth and reap profits from smokeless tobacco, cigars and now e-cigarettes,” the press release states.
By the numbers
18 percent: National smoking rate
36,000: Number of deaths caused annually by tobacco use in California
30,000: Number of kids who start smoking each year in California
$18.1 billion: Combined health care and lost productivity that tobacco use has cost the state’s economy
Source: The American Lung Association
Overall tobacco control grades
Campbell: B
Cupertino: F
Gilroy: F
Los Altos: F
Los Altos Hills: F
Los Gatos: D
Milpitas: F
Morgan Hill: D
Mountain View: D
Palo Alto: D
San Jose: C
Santa Clara: F
Saratoga: D
Sunnyvale: F
Unincorporated county: A

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