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San Diego Gets Poor Marks For Tobacco Control

— Most cities in San Diego County received lousy grades in the latest tobacco control report from the American Lung Association. El Cajon and Solana Beach were the only cities to score as high as a "B."

Aired 1/17/13 on KPBS News.

San Diego may be known as America's Finest City, but it doesn't rank very high in the latest tobacco control report from the American Lung Association.

The tobacco control report grades cities in three different categories: smoke-free outdoor air, smoke-free housing and reducing sales of tobacco products.

San Diego received a "D" overall, as did Carlsbad and Escondido.

The American Lung Association's Debra Kelley said Santee got the worst grade in the county.

"Because they have adopted no policies that will protect the citizens and their community from illegal sales of tobacco to youth, or from second-hand smoke indoors or outdoors," Kelley explained. "And they're the only community that still allows smoking in their parks."

The state of California got poor marks for its tobacco tax rate, which hasn't increased since 1999.

Once one the highest tobacco taxes in the nation, California's 87 cents a pack rate now ranks 33rd in the country.

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