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San Juan Capistrano Gets an 'F' for Its Tobacco-Control Policies

So says the American Lung Association in a report released today.

The city of San Juan Capistrano hasn't done much to control tobacco use, says the American Lung Association. Patch file photo.
The city of San Juan Capistrano hasn't done much to control tobacco use, says the American Lung Association. Patch file photo.

All but three cities in Orange County flunked in the eyes of the American Lung Association when it comes to tobacco-control policies, according to an annual report released by the organization today.

Laguna Hills, Laguna Woods and Santa Ana received overall C grades on the report card issued by the anti-tobacco organization. Laguna Hills and Laguna Woods received A grades for reducing second-hand smoke outdoors, and Santa Ana received an A grade for reducing the sales of tobacco products, but overall they were judged mediocre.

Thirty-one other cities, including San Juan Capistrano, received overall grades of F.

“Despite making great strides in reducing smoking rates in America, there is still much work to be done here in Orange County,'' said Dr. Afif El-Hasan, a board member of the American Lung Association in California's governing board. “Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and illness in the U.S. We must renew our commitment to stopping tobacco from robbing another generation of their health.”

The association is pushing cities to pass more laws reducing smoking, said Amanda Knitter of the association. The Buena Park City Council may consider an ordinance to ban smoking in recreational areas such as parks, a law the association favors, Knitter said.

The report did not specifically grade cities on e-cigarettes, but the association wants municipal leaders to consider them in the same way as regular cigarettes.

“Unfortunately, very little is known about the health effects of e-cigarettes, but it is important to note it is a tobacco product and thus should be regulated like one,” said Kimberly Amazeen, vice president of programs and advocacy for the association in California.

“It's kind of the Wild, Wild West of e-cigarette manufacturers taking a lesson out of Big Tobacco's playbook,” Amazeen said, referring to the use of celebrities to endorse the product as well as offering “candy flavored” e-cigarettes to appeal to youths.

--City News Service

Jim Reardon January 22, 2014 at 06:44 PM
I abhor smoking. But really. The American Lung Association is a relic of another era trying to remain relevant. Grading cities? PLEASE. Our impulse to nanny-state thinking will not be contained. ----------- I cannot off-hand remember the last time I witnessed someone smoking in public in Southern California.
Jonathan Volzke January 22, 2014 at 06:48 PM
Check out the crowd of students across the street from Junipero Serra High School (the CUSD one) on any given morning, Jim ...
Stacy Klinger January 22, 2014 at 06:58 PM
Where in an e-cigarette is tobacco? The vapors are nicotine, not tobacco. Also, not everyone uses the nicotine vapors, many vapors are nicotine free.
GreenInOC January 22, 2014 at 09:11 PM
@Jim Reardon, I see/smell someone smoking almost every day. Driving next to them, I've got to roll up my windows b/c their smoke is permeating my car; a neighbor standing out on their balcony and their smoke is invading my home; watching them throw their butts out on the street; out in front of stores, restaurants, at the dog park, etc...
Donna Fleming January 23, 2014 at 01:29 AM
The only time I notice it is in parking lots. Professional buildings and strip malls. People take smoke breaks in the parking lots. I have never seen any kids smoking in the parking lot of JSerra after school or at Saddleback Valley Christian school. Never and I have done my share of car pooling.
Donna Fleming January 23, 2014 at 01:37 AM
I hate smoking too. But, it is a personal choice and a habit hard to break for those poor sould who started when it was still cool. So, as long as, they do not smoke across the table from me or in a public place I will not complain. And, if we get an F... Europe gets and FFF-----. Defence de fume'
Shripathi Kamath January 23, 2014 at 02:54 AM
Jim Reardon January 22, 2014 at 06:44 PM I abhor smoking. But really. The American Lung Association is a relic of another era trying to remain relevant. Grading cities? PLEASE. Our impulse to nanny-state thinking will not be contained. _________________________________________________ Yeah, I also hate that the nanny state prevents people from smoking cannabis in their homes. But hold on, when did the American Lung Association become part of the nanny state? I mean, who do they think they are? Moody's, who rate cities, counties and states on their creditworthiness? WE DEMAND OUR FREEDUMBS!
CHK January 23, 2014 at 03:44 PM
IMHO, one of the worst & most offensive places in SJC is the patio (that is on the Chase bank parking lot side) of Plaza Prospero, where many people hang out directly outside the entrance smoke. I would not have a desire to enter this building if I have to "run the gauntlet" of all those smoking in this area. I can even smell it in my car when I exit the parking lot and cross over the go to the shopping center across the street.
Alberto Barrera January 23, 2014 at 05:01 PM
To everyone complaining about cigarette smoke, I'd recommend taking up the hobby of cigars. Since the smoke is much stronger, you won't be bothered by petty cigarettes if you have a cigar every two months or so.

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