Who’s making the grade when it comes to tobacco prevention?

By Guest Blogger – Nicole Coxe, Santa Clara County Public Health Department, Chronic Disease & Injury Prevention

In the case of Santa Clara County, it’s more like who’s NOT earning good grades—though, we prefer to focus on the positives.

On Monday, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department in partnership with our Coalitions released our 2010 Community’s Health on Tobacco Report Card results, which showed that 12 of our 13 cities had earned grades that wouldn’t have their parents (or Mayors and Police Chiefs) taking away their phone and internet privileges and grounding them for a month.

Cities improved their grade drastically from the 2008 baseline of mostly D’s and F’s (no cities had earned the coveted “A” then). Cities increased compliance rates of tobacco sales and advertising laws through merchant education, conducted enforcement of illegal sales of tobacco to minors laws and enacted new tobacco sales restrictions—all areas that factors that lead to a higher GPA.

This year 3 cities (Milpitas, Mountain View and Saratoga) earned A’s and the rest B’s.

Well… all except one. San Jose, due to extreme budget reductions, was the only city not to conduct enforcement of tobacco sales to minors laws, or do much else to improve their grade. That is, until now! San Jose could become the first jurisdiction in Santa Clara County to adopt a tobacco retail licensing ordinance, which could surely raise them to the top of their class in no time.

Who knows, maybe next year San Jose will be our valedictorian.

For more information about the Community’s Health on Tobacco Report Card contact nicole.coxe@phd.sccgov.org

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