Solano County

Tobacco prevention group looks at Solano goals

By From page A4 | January 30, 2013

FAIRFIELD — Having more apartment complexes in Fairfield prohibit smoking in most units is among the proposed objectives of the Solano County Tobacco Prevention and Education Program for the 2013-14 fiscal year that begins in July.

The idea was presented at Tuesday’s annual lunch for the Solano County Tobacco Education Coalition. The group advises tobacco prevention efforts coordinated by Solano Public Health. About 25 people attended the event.

A way to get more Fairfield apartments to be smoke-free is to link the effort with the Fairfield Police Department’s Crime-Free Multi-Housing program, according to county Tobacco Prevention and Education Program proposals.

Apartments can choose to participate in the crime-free program. To be certified, landlords and property owners go through crime-prevention training. The city looks at the properties and addresses such issues as locks and lighting.

A possible additional requirement would be to prohibit smoking in at least 75 percent of contiguous units, including on balconies, patios and common indoor areas, the proposal said. The goal would be to have police certify at least two complexes as meeting the standards by June 30, 2014, it says.

Such a policy would reduce the exposure of people to second-hand smoke, the proposal says.

Another goal is to collect tobacco retail data at a minimum of 110 stores and perhaps as many as 200, said Felicia Flores-Workman of the county’s Tobacco Prevention and Education Program. The survey is part of a state effort to collect data over 20 years.

People doing the surveys would go to the stores and use iPod Touches to collect the data, Flores-Workman said. They would look for such things as prices and presentation of the products.

“Ninety percent of tobacco industry promotions happen at the retail environment to influence behavior,” Flores-Workman told the group.

Solano County and its cities earlier this month received low grades from the American Lung Association for their tobacco reduction efforts. Vallejo had the highest grade with a D. The rural county and the other six cities all received F’s.

The American Lung Association looked at three major categories: smoke-free outdoor air, smoke-free housing and reducing tobacco product sales. Only 17 California municipalities received A grades and two-thirds received failing grades.

Participants at the luncheon noted that the American Lung Association grades are linked to city and county laws addressing smoking, not education programs. They also noted that Vallejo last year passed a law prohibiting smoking in city parks.

Tobacco is the number-one preventable cause of death and kills about 780 Solano County residents each year, according to Solano Public Health.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

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