The City of Albany has maintained its membership in the elite club of California local governments receiving an "A" from the American Lung Association for its efforts to combat tobacco use.
Albany is the only local government in California to raise its grade to an "A" in the latest annual tobacco-control report from the lung association, "State of Tobacco Control 2014: California Local Grades."
Albany, which received an A last year too, is one only 18 city and county governments in the state awarded an A, compared to the F given to 330 local jurisdictions, nearly two-thirds of the local governments in California. The report assessed all 482 cities and 58 counties in the state.
Albany is one of seven receiving As in the Bay Area, along with Berkeley, Dublin, Union City, Richmond, Contra Costa County, and Santa Clara County.
Berkeley, which raised its grade this year from a B last year, is only local government in the state to boost its rating to a A.
The report examined and assigned grades in three categories: 1) Smokefree Outdoor Air, 2) Smokefree Housing, and 3) Reducing Sales of Tobacco Products.
Albany received an A in Smokefree Outdoor Air and Reducing Sales of Tobacco Products and a B in Smokefree Housing, the same grades it received in all three categories last year.
The report deals with efforts by local governments, not private or non-profit groups. The county grades reflect county government performance in unincorporated areas. Alameda County received a C overall.
Of the five Bay Area cities receiving an A overall, four are in Alameda County: Albany, Berkeley, Dublin and Union City.
California as a whole received an F grade overall.
"While other states have taken steps forward, progress in California, which was once on the forefront of tobacco control efforts, has stagnated," the report said. "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."
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