Highlights: CaliforniaTobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. To address this enormous toll, the American Lung Association and its partners have committed to three bold goals:
1. Reduce smoking rates, currently at about 18 percent, to less than 10 percent by 2024;
2. Protect all Americans from secondhand smoke by 2019; and
3. Ultimately eliminate the death and disease caused by tobacco use.
The American Lung Association in California recognizes that these bold goals will only be met in California if these following three actions are taken by our elected officials:
1. Increase the tobacco tax by $2.00 per pack and earmark funding for tobacco prevention and control, and tobacco-related disease research and treatments.
2. Reduce the sale of tobacco products in California communities - including stronger restrictions on youth access, flavored tobacco products and electronic cigarettes.
3. Expand access to tobacco cessation treatments and services for all Medi-Cal recipients.
In 2014, the American Lung Association in California and our volunteers championed several bills, but only two were signed into law by the Governor to protect Californians' lungs against secondhand smoke. Assembly Bill 1819 will protect children by prohibiting smoking inside family day care home at all times, whether children are present or not, and Assembly Bill 2359 will prohibit smoking within 25 feet of certified farmers' markets so that people and families trying to make healthier food choices aren't smoked out by tobacco.
In addition, the Lung Association and its coalition partners played defense by undertaking a significant effort to ensure that a weak definition of electronic cigarettes was not codified into state law during this legislative session. The measure (Senate Bill 648) originally would have ensured e-cigarettes were regulated just like any other tobacco product. But that tough language was stripped out by powerful, pro-tobacco voices in the Legislature. The new language inserted into the bill was a known tobacco industry tactic to draw a distinction between an e-cigarette and a tobacco product, which would set a potentially harmful precedent in state law and affect future e-cigarette legislation. After a significant grassroots effort let by Lung Association advocates and volunteers around the state, the bill failed passage in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
The American Lung Association in California also had the opportunity to join forces with the California Department of Public Health on their Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community campaign. New statewide data from more than 7,300 retail stores throughout California revealed just how far the tobacco industry will go to get kids hooked on tobacco. Not only is the tobacco industry pedaling their products (including e-cigarettes) in many community stores near schools, but they are trying to hook younger consumers by selling candy-flavored tobacco products, many that cost under a dollar. We will continue to work on passing strong local and statewide laws that protect our children from the deadly influences pushed by the tobacco industry.
The American Lung Association in California will continue the fight to increase the tobacco tax, working with a broad and diverse coalition committed to a healthier California. We are determined to pass a life-saving $2-per-pack tobacco tax - either through the legislature or by ballot measure - by the end of 2016.
In addition, the Lung Association remains committed to collaborating at the local level in communities across California to pass strong and effective tobacco control laws where people live, work and play. Through these efforts, we will continue to prevent kids from ever picking up their first cigarette, motivate current smokers to quit and fight for better treatments and cures for lung diseases that so often result from, or are exacerbated by, tobacco use.
California State Facts
|Economic Cost Due to Smoking:||$18,135,550,000|
|Adult Smoking Rate:||12.5%|
|High School Smoking Rate:||13.8%|
|Middle School Smoking Rate:||4.8%|
|Smoking Attributable Deaths:||36,684|
|Smoking Attributable Lung Cancer Deaths:||10,715|
|Smoking Attributable Respiratory Disease Deaths:||10,860|
Adult smoking rate is taken from CDC's 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. High school and middle school smoking rates are taken from the 2010 California Student Tobacco Survey.
To Get Involved, Contact:
- American Lung Association in California
424 Pendleton Way
Oakland, CA 94621
- 510 638 5864
Did You Know?
2014 was the 50th anniversary of the historic 1964 Surgeon General's report on smoking and health, which linked smoking to lung cancer and other deadly diseases for the first time.
A 2014 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that about 8 million lives have been saved through tobacco control efforts since 1964, including 800,000 lung cancer deaths between 1975 and 2000.
Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S., killing over 1,300 people per day.
Secondhand smoke kills more than 40,000 people in the U.S. each year.
28 states and Washington, D.C. have passed laws prohibiting smoking in almost all public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars.
New York has the highest cigarette tax in the country at $4.35 per pack.
Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax in the country at 17 cents per pack.
The average of all states plus the District of Columbia's cigarette taxes are $1.54 per pack.
Nine states have taxes on other tobacco products equivalent to their state's cigarette taxes.
Alaska and North Dakota are the only two states that fund their tobacco control programs at or above the CDC-recommended level (in Fiscal Year 2015).
No states approved cigarette tax increases large enough to impact smoking rates in 2014.
No states approved a comprehensive smokefree workplace law in 2014.
2 states—Indiana and Massachusetts—offer a comprehensive cessation benefit to tobacco users on Medicaid.
The average amount states invest in quitlines is $3.65 per smoker in the state.
Nationwide, the Medicaid program spends more than $40 billion in healthcare costs for smoking-related diseases each year—more than 15 percent of total Medicaid spending.
A recent study found that CDC's Tips from Former Smokers media campaign is highly cost effective in helping smokers quit and reducing smoking-caused deaths.
In 2009, the American Lung Association played a key role in the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority over tobacco products.
The American Lung Association played a key role in airplanes becoming smokefree in the 1990s.
41 states and Washington, D.C. spend less than half of what the CDC recommends on their state tobacco prevention programs.
States spend less than two cents of every dollar they get in tobacco-related revenue to fight tobacco use.
Each day, more than 3,200 kids under 18 try their first cigarette and about 700 kids become new, regular smokers.
Each day, more than 2,300 kids try their first cigar.
Smoking costs the U.S. economy $356 million in direct healthcare costs and $411 million in lost productivity each day.
The five largest cigarette companies spent over $22.9 million dollars a day marketing their products in 2011.
Secondhand smoke causes $5.6 billion in lost productivity in the U.S. each year.
Smoking rates are almost twice as high for Medicaid recipients compared to those with private insurance.
A 2013 study of California’s tobacco prevention program shows that the state saved $55 in healthcare costs for every $1 invested from 1989 to 2008.
A 2012 study of Massachusetts' comprehensive Medicaid quit smoking benefit found that Massachusetts saved $3 for every $1 spent helping smokers quit in just over a year.
Wonder what diseases smoking causes that you didn’t know about? Take a look at our top ten lists to find out.View the Lists
10 Year Road Map
Check out our road map to eliminate tobacco-caused death and disease.View the Road Map