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Lung cancer deaths are a whopping 28% lower in California than the rest of the nation.
This is likely due to the state’s early adoption of tobacco control programs, which are associated with a “major reduction in cigarette smoking” among people younger than 35, according to a recent study by UC San Diego.
What California laws are working and why? How can you mimic them in your area?
Find out in ChangeLab Solutions’s new guide book, “Tobacco Laws Affecting California.” The book explains existing California laws related to tobacco use, sales, and marketing, and new efforts like San Francisco’s ban on e-cigs.
“(The decline in smoking in California) can only be attributed to the success of tobacco control in this state which has been so effective in convincing young people not to smoke,” said Dr. Scott M. Lippman of UC San Diego in a press release.
California: The State of Smoking
Smokers are up to 30 times more likely than non-smokers to develop lung cancer.
The UC San Diego study examined smoking behavior and lung cancer data. They found that people younger than 35 have a 30% lower cigarette consumption rate than the rest of the country. They also have a 24% higher quit rate.
All this contributes to the state’s lower rate of lung cancer.
“Lung cancer mortality in California declined from an annual rate of 108 per 100,000 people over 35 years of age in 1985 to 62.6 per 100,000 in 2013,” Lippman said in the press release. “The speed of this decline is 33 percent faster than it has been in the rest of the United States. This is the largest decline ever seen in what has been the biggest epidemic of our time.”
California: A Look at Tobacco Laws
Why this success?
The UC San Diego study compliments policy efforts.
“The state has achieved success by aggressively responding to early evidence linking smoking to lung cancer with policies aimed at discouraging smoking,” according to a press release. “Then, in 1988, by passing a voter initiative to set up the nation’s first comprehensive statewide tobacco control program run by the California Department of Public Health.”
The ChangeLab Solutions guide book takes a closer look at what’s on the books.
Many of the Tobacco local laws are stricter in California than other state or federal law. California is the only state to pass laws to limit exposure to secondhand smoke in both indoor and outdoor areas where smoking is permitted by state law.
California also proposed raising the cigarette tax — for the first time in 18 years — by a whopping $2.
Health experts agree that raising taxes is the most effective way to reduce tobacco use. The huge gap in prices is the result of a long-running war between tobacco companies and health advocates. It is also, experts say, one of the biggest reasons low-tax states now suffer from high rates of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other tobacco-related diseases.
Local governments across the state also are getting in on the progress.
“For instance, the state tobacco retailer licensing law focuses on protecting state revenue by targeting tax evasion,” according to ChangeLab. “Numerous communities have local tobacco retailer licensing laws that focus on protecting the public’s health.”
California: A New Twist on Regulations
Recent reports show that some e-cigs and vape products contain harmful chemicals and other hazardous substances, and FDA is taking new enforcement and regulatory steps to crack down on JUUL e-cigs.
San Francisco become the first U.S. city to effectively ban e-cig sales.
The city’s board of supervisors unanimously voted in favor of this ban, which prohibits selling nicotine pods or devices that haven’t been approved by FDA.
This law could inspire similar bans across the country on e-cigs/vaping. For example, Ventura, Calif., is one step closer to banning the sale of flavored tobacco products. This would include e-cigs, oils, cigarillos, cigarettes and loose tobacco. according to the Ventura County Star.
Many health experts hope these victoties in California will lead to breakthroughs elsewhere.
You can get help if you want to quit smoking!
Quitxt is a smoking cessation program designed specifically to help South Texas Latino young adults quit smoking. The service is led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, leader of Salud America! at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio.
The service uses text messages and Facebook Messenger chat to help with motivation to quit, setting a quit date, finding things to do instead of smoking, handling stress, using nicotine replacement if needed, and more.