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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Taft gets an F for tobacco controls

  • Most of Kern County does, too, in annual American Lung Association report
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  • Taft got a big fat F from the American Lung Association for controlling the use of tobacco.
    Taft wasn't alone among Kern County's cities when it comes to filing in the eyes of the ALA.
    Only Tehachapi got as high as a C for having smokefree recreation areas and licensing tobacco retailers.
    California City, Delano, McFarland and Wasco got points for having smokefree recreation areas.
    Taft and the other Kern County cities all got zeros.
    Taft and the other failing cities scored zero on smokefree outdoor air, zero on smokefree housing and zero on reducing the sale of tobacco products.
    These grades are unchanged from the 2013 report.
    None of the county's cities scored any points for smokefree housing and Tehachapi and California City were the only cities that licensed tobacco retailers.
    None of the county's cities limit smoking near schools and parks, ban sales in pharmacies or prohibit sampling of tobacco products.
    The ALA State of Tobacco Control 2014 report tracks progress on key tobacco control policies. The report assigns grades in four key areas: tobacco prevention and control spending, smokefree air, cigarette tax and cessation coverage. The grades are based on tobacco control laws and regulations in effect as of January 2, 2014.
    The report graded outdoor air for smokefree outdoor air for dining areas, entryways, public events, recreation areas, service areas, sidewalks and worksites.
    The report was issued on the 50th anniversary of the historic 1964 Surgeon General's report that linked smoking to lung cancer and other diseases for the first time.
    California as a whole is slipping when it comes to controlling smoking, the report said.
    "While other states have taken steps forward, progress in California, which was once on the forefront of tobacco control efforts, has stagnated," said Marsha Ramos, Chair, American Lung Association in California Governing Board. "Our state has made little to no headway in increasing its tobacco prevention and control funding, protecting its workers from loopholes in the smokefree workplace law, raising its cigarette tax or increasing cessation coverage."
    Page 2 of 2 - California once again received F grades for Tobacco Prevention and Control Program Funding and Cessation Coverage and a D for its Cigarette Tax, which, at $0.87, ranks 33rd in the nation. While California receives an A for its Smokefree Air, our state has failed to close any of the loopholes that still leave approximately 1.5 million workers at risk of exposure to secondhand smoke in their place of employment.
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