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San Diego Gets Bad Grades For Tobacco Control

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Aired 1/21/11

San Diego gets lousy marks in the latest tobacco control report card from the American Lung Association. The city received a "D" overall.

San Diego gets lousy marks in the latest tobacco control report card from the American Lung Association. The city received a "D" overall.

The American Lung Association graded California's largest cities in four different categories of tobacco control.

San Diego received a "B" for reducing sales of tobacco products. But it was punished with a "D" for failing to do more to curb smoking outdoors.

The American Lung Association's Paul Knepprath said San Diego needs to step up.

"It's true the San Diego ordinance covers some service areas and recreation areas like beaches," Knepprath admitted, "but the city hasn't moved forward with any ordinances that would cover, for example, smoke-free outdoor dining."

The city got an "F" for allowing smoking in apartment buildings. Twelve communities in the state have banned the practice to reduce exposure to second-hand smoke.

California does have the nation's second-lowest smoking rate, behind Utah. Even so, more than 36,000 Californians die from smoking each year.

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