Hello world! A brand new and improved State of Tobacco Control – California Local Grades report is 6 months away from showing off its new changes! This is my third year working on this report and I believe this new grading methodology will highlight cities with the best tobacco control policies while pushing other jurisdictions to adopt stronger policies to protect the health of their community. Staff from all over the state were involved in these conversations and none of these changes in the report’s methodology were made lightly.
A major change occurring in this new methodology is in the Smokefree Housing Section. When the methodology for this report was first developed six years ago, there were very few smokefree housing policies passing and we were not sure what they would look like in the future. Since then, the bar has been raised by cities and counties across the state passing strong policies in all areas. Now that we know what these strong policies in housing look like, we are able to create a stronger grading methodology that will reflect these strong policies that we know will improve the health of California residents.
Another big change is the inclusion of a new section called Emerging Issues Bonus Points. This section lists policies that are also important in protecting the public from the harms of tobacco such as flavor restrictions and electronic cigarette regulations. If a community has enough points in this section, they are able to add a point to their Overall Total Points, which may affect their Overall Tobacco Control Grade.
Our team has already been busy grading jurisdictions for the 2015 report that will be released in January. But there is still time to raise your grade! Remind local elected officials about the State of Tobacco Control – California Local Grades report and contact your local American Lung Association in California offices to see how they can help you pass important policies.
Click here to view the new methodology. If you have any questions or would like more information about the new methodology and how it will affect your jurisdictions, please contact any of our American Lung Association in California staff or contact Stacy Song at (916) 585-7680 or Stacy.Song@lung.org.
– Stacy Song
*The American Lung Association has an annual report, the State of Tobacco Control Report, which grades all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Federal Government on their tobacco control policies. The American Lung Association in California releases our own report in coordination with the national report called the State of Tobacco Control – California Local Grades which grades all 58 counties and 482 cities throughout the state. This year, both the national and local report are changing their grading methodologies.