Farewell

It has been a wonderful five years working for the American Lung Association in California and being immersed in the tobacco control world.  What have I learned?  I’ll let the numbers tell the story.

January 2007 – The tobacco industry just spent $62 million to defeat Proposition 86
January 2012 – The tobacco industry has already spent nearly $3 million and is about to spend tens of millions more in their attempt to defeat the California Cancer Research Act 

January 200750 percent of the members of the California Legislature take campaign contributions from the tobacco industry
January 2012Nearly 50 percent of the members of the California Legislature take campaign contributions from the tobacco industry 

January 2007 – The state cigarette tax rate is $.87/pack and the Governor proposes to spend $77.4 million on tobacco control efforts
January 2012 – The state cigarette tax rate is $.87/pack and the Governor proposes to spend $62.72 million on tobacco control efforts

Lesson #1 – The tobacco industry is relentless in their efforts to stop policies that will save lives but hurt their bottom line and will do everything they can to attempt to defeat the California Cancer Research Act.

But I learned something else as well.

January 2007 – Zero cities/counties that require nonsmoking units for multi-unit housing
January 201223 cities/counties in California that require nonsmoking units for multi-unit housing

January 2007 – Zero cities/counties that would have earned an A on the State of Tobacco Control – California Local Grades report
January 2012Twelve cities/counties that earn an A grade and have strong policies for smokefree outdoor air, smokefree housing and reducing sales of tobacco products.

January 2007 – California’s smoking prevalence rate is 13.8 percent
January 2012 – California’s most recent smoking prevalence rate is 11.9 percent

Lesson #2 – Despite the industry’s huge financial advantage, tobacco control advocates in California are just as relentless in our efforts and have been able to accomplish amazing policy successes to help save lives in our state. 

I am lucky to have been a small part of that. 

–Justin Garrett

2 Comments

  1. Jeannie
    Posted Jan 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    We’ll miss you Justin! :)

  2. Vanessa
    Posted Jan 20, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Awww, Justin… always our numbers guy! We’ll miss you!

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