The California Tobacco Control Program is a program of the California Department of Public Health. A leader for over 25 years, the California Tobacco Control Program works diligently to keep tobacco out of the hands of youth, help tobacco users quit, and ensure that all Californians can live, work, play, and learn in tobacco-free environments. In 1989 when our program began, 1 in 5 adults smoked. Today, fewer than 1 in 8 adults smoke, a decline of more than 50 percent! California’s efforts are credited with saving more than 1,000,000 lives and saving over $134 billion in healthcare costs for the state.
Despite these accomplishments, tobacco use continues to take a terrible toll on individuals and families throughout the state. And, new tobacco products, especially e-cigarettes, are getting a new generation hooked on nicotine.
We invite you to get to know the California Tobacco Control Program -- our approach, accomplishments and challenges. California’s local health departments, numerous community and state organizations, researchers and experts in delivering attention-getting messages and innovative health education programs work in this movement together to create a tobacco free California.
April Roeseler, BSN, MSPH [Click here for her Biography (PDF)]
Chief, California Tobacco Control Program
California Department of Public Health
The mission of the California Tobacco Control Program is to improve the health of all Californians by reducing illness and premature death attributable to the use of tobacco products. Through leadership, experience and research, the California Tobacco Control Program empowers statewide and local health agencies to promote health and quality of life by advocating social norms that create a tobacco-free environment.
The goal of the California Tobacco Control Program is to change the social norms surrounding tobacco use by “indirectly influencing current and potential future tobacco users by creating a social milieu and legal climate in which tobacco becomes less desirable, less acceptable, and less accessible.” To change tobacco-related social norms, the California Tobacco Control Program funds a statewide media campaign and state and community interventions which focus on policy, system, and environmental change in four priority areas:
1. Limit Tobacco Promoting Influences. Efforts in this area seek to curb advertising and marketing tactics used to promote tobacco products and their use, counter the glamorization of tobacco use through entertainment and social media venues, expose tobacco industry practices, and hold tobacco companies accountable for the impact of their products on people and the environment.
2. Reduce Exposure to Secondhand Smoke, Tobacco Smoke Residue, Tobacco Waste, and Other Tobacco Products. Efforts in this area address the impact of tobacco use on people, other living organisms, and the physical environment resulting from exposure to: secondhand smoke, tobacco smoke residue, tobacco waste, and other non-combustible tobacco products.
3. Reduce the Availability of Tobacco. Efforts in this area address the sale, distribution, sampling, or furnishing of tobacco products and other nicotine containing products that are not specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for nicotine or tobacco dependence.
4. Promote Tobacco Cessation. Efforts in this area include the provision of free cessation assistance in six languages and for the hearing impaired through the California Smokers’ Helpline and efforts to improve awareness, access, and availability of cessation support offered by the health care system, health care plans, and employers.