Watsonville gets ‘B’ grade on tobacco control

WATSONVILLE — Watsonville scored a “B” overall in the American Lung Association’s annual State of Tobacco Control report, released Wednesday.

The 16th annual report grades states and the federal government on policies to prevent and reduce tobacco use.

While Watsonville did receive an “A” for reducing sales of tobacco products and a “B” for smoke-free outdoor air, the report graded the city a “D” for its smoke-free housing.

Watsonville’s grade remained the same from 2017.

California’s grades improved to the best in the nation thanks to the enactment of a new tobacco tax increase approved by voters in 2016, according to the report.

The state received an “A” grade for funding for state tobacco prevention programs, up from an “F” in 2016. California’s grade for smoking cessation services also improved from an “F” to a “C.”

“This year, California began reaping the financial and health benefits of an increased tobacco tax,” said Mark Johnson, board chair for the American Lung Association in California. “I’ve seen personally how effective it can be as one of my close relatives, a long-time smoker, finally quit the day the tobacco tax went into effect. Our family was so grateful for his lifestyle change and we’ve already seen a big improvement in his health.”

For information, visit www.stateoftobaccocontrol.org/california2018citysearch.


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