Posted: Aug 15, 2012 11:06 AM by KSBY News, Carina Corral
Updated: Aug 16, 2012 4:59 AM
A new report suggests rural areas of the state, including the Central Coast, need to do a better job of keeping cigarettes out of the hands of kids.
The report by the American Lung Association states youth in rural areas are more likely to use tobacco than kids in more urban areas.
Rural areas have a 21 percent smoking prevalence compared to a 12 percent statewide rate.
The report states the majority of rural communities received an F grade for failing to enact smoke-free policies.
"Tobacco use is often more socially acceptable in rural areas, making it more likely that kids living in these communities will also start to use tobacco," said Jane Warner, President and CEO, American Lung Association in California. "Leaders and residents in rural communities need to take a stand against the culture of tobacco use as part of life."
The report credits cities such as Grover Beach and Arroyo Grande for taking great strides to limit minors' access to tobacco by passing strong tobacco retailer license ordinances.