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New report reveals cities' smoking habits

June 23, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Fourteen percent of Los Angeles county residents smoke. That's just one of the findings in a Los Angeles County Department of Public Health report that breaks down smoking habits by city and community.It finds that smoking rates are much higher for men and African American residents. It also finds that smoking rates are highest in Quartz Hill with 21.9 percent, Lancaster with 21.7 percent, and West Hollywood with 19.6 percent.

Smoking rates are the lowest in San Marino with 5.3 percent and Malibu with 5.8 percent of residents lighting up.

"Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. and is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases and many cancers," explains Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the director of public health of Los Angeles County.

Fielding says more than a million adults in Los Angeles County risk their lives and endanger the lives of loved ones with their smoking. He says understanding where smoking rates are high will help officials know where to target anti-smoking programs.

The city of Glendale says the report is based on 2007 data that doesn't reflect its anti-smoking campaign. It objects to the findings that reveal that 15 percent of Glendale residents smoke. Glendale launched a major effort to curtail second hand smoke in 2008.

The American Lung Association has given Glendale an "A" grade for its anti-smoking program for two years.

CNS contributed to this report.