Glendale got an “A” on the American Lung Assn.’s annual report card highlighting cities and counties with the best antismoking rules released this week.
Glendale is one of 18 cities and counties — 3% of those surveyed — that received the top score on the “State of Tobacco Control 2014” report.
Glendale also moved up in a sub-category — smoke-free housing — from B to A due to new legislation the City Council passed last year, banning smoking in all new apartment and condominium units.
Since 2008, Glendale has implemented a variety of smoking rules as part of what’s known as the “Fresh Air Ordinance,” restricting smoking in many public areas, on patios of multiunit buildings and even in common areas of apartment complexes.
In 2013, the City Council also passed a law that gives private citizens the right to sue smokers for breaking the city’s antismoking rules. The new legislation is aimed at giving those annoyed by rule violators more options as city enforcement of antismoking rules is a continual challenge.
“It’s great to be acknowledged, especially by a group as prominent as the American Lung Assn.,” said Councilwoman Laura Friedman, adding that the most complaints she receives about smoking are from people living in apartment buildings.
“This was definitely something we had to tackle,” she said.
Glendale’s allowance of designated outdoor smoking areas made the city lose a few points, but its high-scoring restrictions on smoking in recreation areas, entryways and public events helped buoy the city in that sub-category.
Separately, Glendale Community College became a smoke-free campus last year. However, that change was not reflected in the American Lung Assn. report.
Other cities that received an overall grade of A include Compton, Baldwin Park, Pasadena and Huntington Park. The number of cities that received an A has doubled since 2010, according to the report.
Neighboring Burbank got an overall grade of B. About 61% of cities and counties — or 330 — received an F.
According to the report:
• 34 cities/counties require the creation of nonsmoking units in multiunit housing
• 114 cities/counties restrict smoking in indoor and/or outdoor common areas of multiunit housing
• 119 cities/counties restrict smoking in outdoor dining areas
Grades are based on three categories: smoke-free outdoor air, smoke-free housing and reducing sales of tobacco products. Cities and counties receive points in each category which are then added together to calculate an overall score.