State of Tobacco Control

This is my second year working on the American Lung Association in California’s State of Tobacco Control – California Local Grades report. This report is released in coordination with the national SOTC report which grades all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Federal Government on their tobacco control policies.

Last year, when we began the process in September to grade local city and county tobacco control policies for the California report, I was surprised at how early in the year we started. But in order to ensure that policies are graded accurately and that we can capture all new policies, this timeline is important.

Although it might seem like this year’s report is a long ways away, the truth is that Lung Association staff are already busy at work grading all the policies that have passed this year. One thing that stands out to me from last year is the great way the entire team comes together to make this report the huge success that it is. From collecting, tracking, and grading policies, to making sure the report is widely distributed, this is a full team effort, and our team is already rocking and rolling to make the upcoming report even better. This impressive teamwork extends to all the LLA’s who help to not only ensure accuracy, but also help promote this report in their communities.

As usual, the report will cover policies that passed between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013. That means there are still several months left for policies to pass and still make it into the report. If you are interested in reminding your local elected official about the State of Tobacco Control – California Local Grades report here are some steps you can take:

1. Provide information to elected officials on what policies would be needed to raise their grade to an A grade or B grade during your one-on-one meetings with them.

2. Write a letter to the editor or an op-ed about raising the grades in the local newspaper.

3. Speak during public comment periods at council and commission meetings and ask elected officials to raise the city’s grades.

And stay tuned for the release of SOTC in January 2014!

-Lindsey Freitas

 

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