In the , almost every city in the County had very low grades, but they had grade points. Our overall score was the only ZERO on the entire report for all of San Diego County.
As a matter of fact there was one area on the report, (Smokefree Outdoor Air - recreational areas) that every city in the County had points awarded except for Santee. Every city was awarded 3 and 4 points in this area in contrast to the only zero given to Santee. It isn’t like our town isn’t in good company because 67% of all of the California cities received a failing grade!
But, don’t you see that this report isn’t a call to , it is a report of facts that should invoke thoughtful legislation and dialog about what is reasonable and what can be improved upon. I would appreciate an article that voiced and educated about the overwhelming complexity of this economically costly and social polarizing issue.
It is a daunting task for any city’s leadership to constantly seek improvement, revisit current policy, implement change, and balance any policy with the rights of the few and the majority. California has not raised the tax on tobacco since 1999. When it was raised, I know that Santee worked to be awarded some of this “new found” State tax money. This same “report card” that we are now discussing was used as a criteria and benchmark for some of those cash disbursements to cities and grant beneficiaries.
Why would we not care at all, or not want to put in some effort to look at other California towns to see how they successfully balanced the freedom of their constituents and the quality of life issue that we know public tobacco use presents?
F should also stand for FACTS… it is indisputable, the facts about tobacco use in public places such as multi-unit dwellings. It is a fact that only 12.9% of adults in California use tobacco, which means 87.1% do not. California is one of only three states that have not raised their tobacco tax in over a decade. Of all the states, we rank 33rd in our tax on tobacco. So it is not surprising that we only spend $89 million on tobacco prevention and control programs when the CDC best practice calls for expenditures of $441 million.
Our state health insurance plans (both Medicaid and State Employee plans) have mandatory provisions for tobacco cessation support and medical aids. Yet, we do not require the same provision of private insurance plans. It is FACT that in the State of California the economic cost due to smoking is $18,135,550,000!
It is a FACT that implemented tobacco prevention and control programs have had very positive impacts on state funded health care expenditures AND cancer survivability rates.
As an American Cancer Society volunteer and the Event Chair, I am willing to work with anyone in order to address this complex issue to the benefit of our community. Let’s not slam the report and dismiss it as an attack on personal freedom, let’s look at it as an opportunity to do what we love to do… make for everyone. I HATE that Santee ranked the lowest on this report, or any report!