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California Gets Lousy Marks For Tobacco Control

Audio

Aired 1/12/10

California's latest tobacco policy report card from the American Lung Association is nothing to brag about. The state earned a "D plus" overall.

— California's latest tobacco policy report card from the American Lung Association is nothing to brag about. The state earned a "D plus" overall.

California received grades in a number of different areas of tobacco control.

The state got an "A" for its restrictions on indoor smoking. But California got a "D" for its lower-than-the-national-average cigarette tax.

Jane Warner heads up the state chapter of the American Lung Association. She says California got the worst possible grade for its annual spending on tobacco control and prevention.

"We only spend $79 million, and that's a fifth of what the CDC recommends," Warner says. "So that's a key area where we get graded an F, because we're not spending near enough money as we should."

Smoking kills about 36,000 Californians a year. It's the leading preventable cause of death.

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