Monrovia Earns 'F' Grade in Annual Tobacco Report

By City News Service

Despite improved efforts by a smattering of cities, pushes to reduce tobacco use have essentially ground to a halt in most cities in Los Angeles County, according to a report released today by the American Lung Association.

The "State of Tobacco Control 2014" report called on cities across the state to renew their commitment to reducing tobacco use through policies restricting sales, providing smoke-free housing and limiting exposure to second- hand smoke.

The report assigned letter grades to cities across the state. In Los Angeles County, eight cities received an overall A grade -- Baldwin Park, Calabasas, Compton, Glendale, Huntington Park, Pasadena, Santa Monica and South Pasadena.

Los Angeles received an overall C grade, earning five out of a possible 12 points.

Monrovia was among the nearly four dozen cities in the county that earned F grades, with many of them earning zero points out of a possible 12. The points are assigned by a review of various tobacco-control policies, ranging from smoking restrictions at restaurants and public areas to smoke-free housing and restrictions on tobacco sales near schools and parks.

Monrovia received two points for its smoking policy regarding outdoor areas, but zero for smoke free housing and reducing sales of tobacco products, according to the report.

The report credited some cities for making dramatic improvements in tobacco- control policies. It noted that Duarte jumped from a D to an F thanks to restrictions imposed on on tobacco sales. Whittier made a minimal gain, improving from an F to a D thanks to efforts reduce second-hand smoke in public areas.

"We are proud of the work being done in Los Angeles County to protect residents from the harmful effects of tobacco," according to Daniel Oh, chairman of the Lung Association's Los Angeles Leadership Board. "However, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and illness in the U.S. We must renew our commitment to stopping tobacco from robbing another generation of their health."

Statewide, the report gave California an A grade for its smoke-free air policies, but a D for having a low cigarette tax, an F for insufficient funding of tobacco-prevention and control programs and an F for poor coverage of smoking treatment services.

More than 60 percent of cities in the state received an overall F grade.

"The policies reflected in this report demonstrate the leadership at the local level to ensure that all Californians breathe clean and healthy air," according to Marsha Ramos, chair of the Lung Association's California Governing Board. "No matter how big or small the city or county, local tobacco- control policies save lives. Tobacco use continues to take a tool on the lives of both adults and kids, so these grades represent real health consequences."

--Local Editor Melanie C. Johnson contributed to this report.

rubberband January 22, 2014 at 07:11 PM
Compton and Santa Monica got an "A"? How? I don't think I understand the "grading" on this report....
Melanie C. Johnson (Editor) January 22, 2014 at 07:14 PM
I added a link when it mentions cities receiving a letter grade so you can see what cities got points for.
rubberband January 22, 2014 at 10:12 PM
thanks, let me go look........
Dan Crandell January 23, 2014 at 01:41 AM
How is an F grade an "earned" grade. In school I didn't have to work hard at all to get that grade. However, never was there a doubt that I deserved that grade. Monrovia has not yet taken full control of it's residences as have those highfalutin A grade cities. Hay ... No Worries ... their coming after us soon. Our new chant should be ... WE WANT TO BE JUST LIKE Baldwin Park ... or HUNTINGTON PARK ... or best of all Compton.
R Terry January 23, 2014 at 02:07 PM
You are telling me that a smoker in Compton or Baldwin Park is not allowed to light up and would pay attention anyway? Oh, Monrovia got a zero for "Dining"? Tell me where you can smoke in a restaurant in Monrovia...inside or out? Actually I only notice smokers out front of our Myrtle Ave. bars occasionally. I rarely see smokers outside Starbucks anymore.
Ellen Zunino January 23, 2014 at 02:20 PM
If the Police Blotter is any indication, it's not smoking that's a problem around here. First, let's bring down drug use, then let's worry about tobacco.
rubberband January 23, 2014 at 04:16 PM
I will admit, I RECENTLY quit smoking...(November, quit cold turkey, been smoke free ever since) I was always polite and never smoked in line or at places where it was bothering people who didn't smoke...I understand that some very staunch anti-smoke people will still have a problem with that, it's polluting the air...and I get it....However, I have recently been to both Santa Monica and very near Compton, and I gotta tell you, LOTS OF SMOKING was happening>>>>EVERYWHERE! Unrestricted and omnipresent.... When I was smoking in Monrovia, I was very aware of places that were NO SMOKING and believe me, you have to go far off the beaten path to smoke anywhere in this city...I know that's a good thing, I just DO NOT understand how we got an F compared to Compton and Santa Monica who got A's....It doesn't really add up..
Ellen Zunino January 23, 2014 at 06:15 PM
I'm way beyond being influenced by Chamber of Commerce-type "grades" and the junior high mindset of the people who get excited about them. People who are truly concerned about the effect of the quality of the air they breathe on their longevity wouldn't be living in urban/suburban Southern California. A job and the income it provides them can't be more important to them than their lives are.
rubberband January 23, 2014 at 06:47 PM
...So that means I get some props for becoming a non-smoker, right? YES? Cleaner air, longer life, and saving money......Some how, and I understand it's not a big deal, I just cannot comprehend how we got an "F"....Much of Monrovia seems pretty smoke free to me, I'd say we are doing better than an "F".......Here: Stop smoking, it'll kill ya and possibly others. There. Fix'd.


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