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Loma Linda Grades High Again in Annual Lung Association Survey

The city is the only in San Bernardino County to score above a D, while Redlands joins the majority by receiving an F.

Loma Linda's tough outdoor smoking laws once again placed it as the highest scoring San Bernardino County city in the American Lung Association's annual state-wide grades.

The city once again received a B in the grades, the only city in San Bernardino County to receive a grade over a D. The city's only failing grade in the annual report came in the form of laws curbing the sale of tobacco products.

This is the third consecutive year that Loma Linda received the B grade.

Redlands joined most other San Bernardino County cities in receiving an F rating in the report. It was given a D for its efforts in providing smoke-free outdoor areas and F's in the categories of providing smoke-free housing and laws curbing the tobacco sales.

Adelanto and Rancho Cucamonga were the only two cities, along with Loma Linda, to receive a grade above an F.

The annual report, which was released Wednesday, 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 failing to adequately fund tobacco prevention and control programs, and another F for poor coverage of smoking cessation and treatment services.

“Safeguarding our communities from the negative consequences of tobacco is critical,” said American Lung Association in California—San Diego Chairman Paul Manasjan. “These grades represent real health consequences. We know how to win the fight against tobacco, but it requires strong leadership and action by elected officials at all levels.”

The association also criticized the state for not increasing its cigarette tax since 1999 and spending only 15 percent of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends to adequately fund tobacco prevention programs and services to help people quit smoking.

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, visit www.lung.org/california.

Patch Staff contributed to this report.

Paul Preston January 17, 2013 at 03:58 PM
The highest grades are awarded to totalitarian Cities who restrict freedom? The flunked Cities should receive A's in liberty.
John Shannon January 18, 2013 at 09:35 AM
My right to clean air over-rules any smoker anyday..anywhere. I grew up around secondhand smoking and all of my smoking relatives died of lung cancer and emphysema. So, Mr Preston, I don't care about your complaint ref to 'totalitarian cities who restrict freedom'!

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