Map Happy

I love maps.  I’ve had legislative district maps and presidential voting results maps hanging in my office.  I recently got hooked on this college basketball map game on espn.com.  I even had a map cake once for my birthday.  So you can imagine my excitement when the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a new national tobacco policy map

Not only is this map fun to look at, but like all good maps it tells a story.  And the story for California is that we have some work to do. 

Look at the Smokefree Laws map.  While California was the first state by several years to pass a statewide smokefree workplace law, we are not considered to be a smokefree state because of the exemptions in our statewide workplace law.  The map groups our state with states like Kentucky and South Carolina.  There was a bill passed by the legislature in 2007 to close these loopholes, but unfortunately the Governor vetoed the bill.

Watch the interactive Cigarette Tax Rates map.  When the feature starts in 2000 we are one of the leading states.  But as the years progress, our state’s color remains orange ($0.50 – $0.99 tax rate) and we get passed by over 20 states.

California continues to lead the way on so many tobacco control issues such as tobacco free pharmacies, tobacco retailer licensing and smokefree housing, cars, and outdoor areas.  But for two major policy areas where California once led the nation (statewide smokefree workplaces and tobacco tax laws), California has some catching up to do. 

–Justin Garrett

2 Comments

  1. Raveen Sharma
    Posted Jul 6, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Texas having higher Tobacco taxes than California? Shameful!

  2. Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t that amazing! People are always shocked when I tell them how low we rank against the rest of the US.

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