SMOKING | Tobacco Report Released

Only 10 Los Angeles County cities – including – South Pasadena – received the top grade in the American Lung Association’s annual assessment of tobacco-control polices in a report released on Wednesday

PHOTO: Esteban Lopez | News

South Pasadena Mayor Dr. Marina Khubesrian says it’s a time to celebrate after learning Wednesday the city she oversees was among 10 in Los Angeles County receiving an overall grade A in the America Lung Association’s annual assessment of tobacco-control policies.

Grades, according to Khubesrian, were issued after the American Lung Association reviewed four areas:

  • Smoke-free housing.
  • Smoke-free outdoor air.
  • Reducing sales of tobacco products.
  • Addressing emerging issues such as flavored tobacco products.

The city scored high in all four, Khubesrian acknowledging the high achievement during Wednesday’s City Council meeting, saying, “Congratulations to the city, the [city] staff and to our residents. This is a huge deal.”

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While South Pasadena came away with the highest mark, other cities did not fare as well. Forty-on L.A. counties received a grade of F. No Orange County city did better than a C and 30 received F grades.

Joining South Pasadena in receiving A grades were Baldwin Park, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Compton, Glendale, Huntington Park, Manhattan Beach, Pasadena, and Santa Monica.

Khubesrian pointed out the report cites emerging threats, “particularly the popularity of e-cigarettes and vaping, as disturbing,” she said, noting, “the American Lung Association is seeing a 78% increase in high school e-cigarette use between 2017 and 2018 nationally. That’s a huge increase. The tobacco industry continues to find creative ways to hook new generations of smokers by marketing and selling new products. Local tobacco-control efforts have remained diligent in taking common sense approaches and pushing necessary policies to address new challenges.”

The mayor said the report indicates that 50 percent of the state’s population lives in communities receiving a D or F grade, while only 20 percent reside in areas with an A or B.

“The good news,” said Khubesrian, “the number of cities and counties that received an overall A grade has increased from 18 in 2013 to 39 for 2018.”

She insisted the City Council would continue to make air quality in South Pasadena a top priority “as we go forward. We’re really proud of this accomplishment.”