State’s Antismoking Efforts ‘Work,’ Times Says
Californians "should be gratified by moves in other states to copy our aggressive antismoking efforts," a Los Angeles Times editorial says. California voters approved a 25-cent-per-pack cigarette tax in 1998 that helped generate $45 million this year for antismoking media advertising, the editorial notes, helping to fund the state's $114 million tobacco control budget, which includes funding for school programs, community groups and smoking research. Noting that states like Iowa, Massachusetts and Florida are using money from the national tobacco settlement to fund new antismoking campaigns after studying California's antitobacco laws, the editorial asserts that "California's approach works." As further evidence that the state's antismoking efforts are effective, the editorial points to a new CDC study that says lung cancer rates in California have dropped 14% between 1988 and 1997. In addition, the editorial notes that the number of teenage smokers has fallen by one-third in "recent years." Moreover, the editorial says that only 18% of Californians smoke, down from 25% in 1988. The editorial concludes that the "new data on lung cancer and smoking rates underscore the value of [the state's antismoking] efforts" (Los Angeles Times, 12/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.