DOWNTOWN — While nearly two-thirds of all cities in the state received failing grades in an annual smoking report released Thursday by the American Lung Association, Santa Monica earned a B for its policies restricting smoking and the sales of tobacco products.

The report rates cities in the areas of providing smoke-free outdoor environments, smoke-free housing and reducing sales of tobacco products.

Santa Monica has banned smoking in most public areas and went so far as to ban smoking on balconies and patios in apartment buildings.

The city of Los Angeles received an overall C grade, despite being credited with steps taken to provide more smoke-free environments.

Despite the large number of F grades in the county, Glendale and South Pasadena were among nine cities statewide to receive an overall grade of A. Baldwin Park, Burbank, Pasadena and Santa Monica each earned a B.

In Orange County, Santa Ana earned a D, while Anaheim earned an F. An overwhelming majority of Orange County cities — 31 — received an F grade.

According to the report, California cities and counties earned mixed results, even though the state used to be a national leader on tobacco-control policies.

“It’s time to raise the grade,” Jane Warner, president and CEO of the Lung Association in California, said. “Strong state and local tobacco control policies must be a top priority for our elected officials.”

Each year, 443,000 people die from tobacco-related illnesses and secondhand smoke exposure, making tobacco the leading cause of preventable death, according to the association. In addition, it costs the economy more than $193 billion annually in healthcare costs and lost productivity.

kevinh@www.smdp.com

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