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Alhambra Failing to Curb Secondhand Smoke While Residents Suffer



Alhambra , CA United States

The results of a public opinion poll released today by CAFÉ – the Clean Air For Everyone in Alhambra Coalition and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health show that Alhambra residents overwhelmingly want protections from breathing secondhand tobacco smoke in outdoor areas where they congregate to eat, shop, and do business.


Alhambra residents are already protected from outdoor tobacco smoke in city parks, as the City Council voted 4 years ago to make it unlawful to smoke in the parks.  But all other outdoor areas have been left unprotected.


The American Lung Association of California released its State of Tobacco Control Report Card 2012 last week and Alhambra received, for the 4th year in a row, an “F” grade for failing to offer more protections from secondhand smoke and not offering any impedance to youth access to tobacco.  Expanding the scope of smoke-free provisions and introducing further tobacco control policies will protect the health of residents and improve Alhambra’s grade as reported by the State of Tobacco Control Report Card for the coming year. 


This report released today is based on data collected from 498 residents of Alhambra between August 2011 and November 2011.  Community Services staff from Glendale Adventist Medical Center, a contractor with the Department of Public Health, and local volunteers conducted the survey interviews.  The results reflect an underlying desire by residents for a smoke-free outdoor air policy that protects them from the 69 cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke.

 A survey of 498 Alhambra residents revealed that:

• 94.2% of respondents have been exposed to secondhand smoke in outdoor areas.

• 98.1% of respondents believe that secondhand smoke is harmful to their health.

When faced with having to deal with unwanted exposure to secondhand smoke in outdoor areas:

 * 85.4% of respondents moved themselves to another location.

 * 32.3% asked the smoker to move away.

 * 57.3% left where they were earlier than planned.

 * 37.4% asked the smoker to stop smoking.

84.8% of all respondents said they would dine outdoors more often if it was smoke-free.

50.0% of current smokers and 87.6% of nonsmokers would dine outdoors more often if it was smoke-free.

Local members of the coalition and other community residents met at Story Park to look at the results and decided what course of action needs to take place if they are to protect themselves and other vulnerable members of the community from exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke in public areas throughout the city of Alhambra.


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