Since its inception 20 years ago, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP) has been charged with decreasing tobacco-related disease and death by protecting Californians from secondhand smoke (SHS) and reducing tobacco use across the state.
The landmark 1988 California Tobacco Tax and Health Promotion Act (Proposition 99) made California the first state to implement a comprehensive tobacco control program and begin work toward its life enhancing goals. Significant progress has been made as per capita tobacco consumption has been cut in half since 1988 and health outcomes have improved. Even lung and bronchial cancers have declined much faster in California than in the rest of the United States (Pierce et al, 2010).
Any organization that employs, serves or represents tobacco users has the opportunity to promote cessation, including health departments, employers, labor unions, child care providers, schools, and other community-based organizations.
Your Role in Tobacco Cessation
No matter where you work or volunteer, you can encourage cessation at any level:
- Learn more about smoking cessation by taking one of our free trainings for health professionals.
- Display and/or provide educational materials to smokers and their families. The California Smokers’ Helpline offers a variety of materials in multiple languages, including fact sheets, brochures, and posters, free of charge and shipping from our online catalog.
- Promote cessation on your organizational website or social media sites. Link to the Helpline’s website at http://www.nobutts.org.
- Contact your organization’s health plan(s) about the cessation resources they offer including educational materials, telephone counseling, group programs, and coverage for quitting aids.
- Contact the organizations in your community that may offer free or low cost materials or group programs for smoking cessation including churches, hospitals, the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and Nicotine Anonymous.
- Host a wellness or health fair for your employees, patients, and/or community members and ask representatives from your health plan, local hospital or clinic, and local American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association to exhibit.
- Adopt a smoke-free campus policy (smoking is already prohibited indoors by California law) and promote quitting in the signage. Outdoor signage featuring 1-800-NO-BUTTS may be customized with your organization’s name and logo and purchased from the Tobacco Education Clearinghouse of California.
- Incentivize employees who don’t smoke with a discount on their annual health health insurance and life insurance premiums.
- Proactively refer patients to the Helpline by registering for the Helpline’s web-based referral service.
- Incorporate cessation into your organization’s work plan or scope of work. Contact our Center for Tobacco Cessation for free training and technical assistance to increase capacity for tobacco cesation at your organization.
Helpline Call Reports
Every six months, the California Smokers' Helpline publishes aggregate data about callers to the Helpline for every county in California. Reports include age, gender, ethnicity, language spoken, and referral source. These reports are a good way to gauge your county's success in increasing cessation among tobacco users.