The American Lung Association has given West Hollywood a grade of “D” in its 2014 “State of Tobacco Control” report.
The report is an assessment of steps that states, counties and cities across the country have taken to protect residents from the ill effects of tobacco. The City of Los Angeles got a “C” grade, as did Beverly Hills and Culver City. Santa Monica, Burbank and Pasadena got “A” rankings.
The report ranks cities according to steps they have taken to restrict smoking outdoors and in apartment complexes and condominium buildings and according to their efforts to reduce sales of tobacco products.
Across California, 119 cities and counties restrict smoking at outdoor dining areas and 45 restrict smoking on sidewalks in commercial areas. Thirty-four cities and counties require that multi-unit housing complexes have non-smoking units and 114 restrict smoking in indoor or outdoor common areas. Tobacco retailers much obtain a local sales license in 141 cities and counties and 31 restrict sales within a certain distance of schools and park.
Tobacco smoking is a major issue in West Hollywood in part because of its large gay population — estimated at about 40 percent of the city’s approximately 34,000 residents.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has launched a campaign called “Break Up with Tobacco” that aims to reduce smoking among LGBT people. It reports that LGBT people smoke at a rate 50 percent higher than heterosexuals. The Public Health Department estimates that 20.6 percent of LGBT people in Los Angeles County smoke tobacco.