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Tobacco Prevention and Control

Through the Tobacco Prevention and Control project, NACCHO aims to provide local health departments (LHDs) with resources to reduce the impact of tobacco in their communities and works collaboratively with partners to ensure the integration of national, state, and local tobacco control efforts. More »

In the Spotlight

On March 12, 2015, the Institute of Medicine released a new report on the public health implications of raising the minimum age of legal access to tobacco products. The committee that wrote the report was tasked with examining existing literature on tobacco use and using modeling and other methods to predict likely public health outcomes of raising the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products to 19, 21, and 25 years. More »

California Takes a Stand against E-cigarettes

On Wednesday, January 28, Dr. Ron Chapman, the state health officer and director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), released aState Health Officer’s Report on E-Cigarettes: A Community Health Threat, along with aHealth Advisoryaimed at health professionals. The State Health Officer’s Report and Health Advisory summarized research on:
  • Health risks associated with using e-cigarettes;
  • The toxicity of nicotine and the harmful chemicals contained in the secondhand aerosol;
  • The sharp increase in calls to California’s poison control centers involving e-cigarettes, in particular ingestion of e-liquid by children;
  • Youth and young adults’ rapid uptake of e-cigarettes;
  • The aggressive and unrestricted marketing by e-cigarette and tobacco companies; and,
  • Recommendations for how health care providers can educate their patients.

The report highlighted three important steps to address the alarming rise of e-cigarettes, including: (1) “education to counter the marketing of e-cigarettes, which is often misleading and highly appealing to teens”; (2) the “need to treat e-cigarettes in a comprehensive manner that is consistent with how we approach traditional cigarettes”; and finally, (3) the need to protect children and workers from the “toxicity associated with the unintentional exposure and handling of e-liquid”.

After issuing the report and advisory, CDPH received widespread media coverage from national, state and local news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, TIME Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, San Francisco Chronicle and Associated Press. Over 150 news outlets covered the story, with headlines such as, “California health officials launch campaign against vaping” and “California declares e-cigarettes a public health threat”.  Several newspapers published editorials commending CDPH for its announcement.

While a few other states, such as Oklahoma and Alaska, have issued advisories to the public about the dangers of e-cigarettes, California was the first to release a report.

California is regarded as being a leader in the nation for reducing smoking. The California Tobacco Control Program’s comprehensive approach to tobacco control has changed social norms around tobacco-use and secondhand smoke, reduced the smoking rate among California adults by more than 50 percent since 1988, saved more than one million lives, and achieved more than $134 billion worth of savings in health care costs. With this effort, California is again providing the leadership to address this new public health challenge that threatens to erode 25 years of progress in tobacco use prevention and cessation.  

Click here for report

Graphic - LHD policy work in tobacco (2013 Profile)