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Contra Costa Health Services


A Project Update From The Contra Costa County Tobacco Prevention Project

December 2004/January 2005

Contra Costa County's tobacco retailer licensing ordinance is highlighted in a new video released by the CA Department of Health Services. Both Public Health Director Wendel Brunner, MD, and Sheriff Deputy Jim McCauley are featured. Over the past 13 months, Dr. Brunner has held 11 license suspension hearings and has suspended nine licenses for violations of PC 308(a) (no sales to minors) and one license for violations of the Tobacco-Free Youth Ordinance (no self-service displays of tobacco). These suspensions have contributed to a drop in the illegal sales rate from 37% to 7% in the unincorporated areas of the county. For more info, call Charlotte Dickson at 925-313-6216.

The Promoting Smoke-Free Families Project held the second part of a three-part training entitled Working With Families to Reduce Children's' Exposure to Secondhand Smoke for community based organizations that work with parents or caregivers of children 0-5. Funded by First 5 Contra Costa, the training goal is to increase participants' skills so they can help clients create smoke-free homes and cars for children. A curriculum for training agency staff is being developed and will be available in the Summer 2005. For more information, contact Cherri Gardner at 925-313-6463.

The Promoting Smoke-Free Families Project also began prenatal care clinic provider training in November. The training covers how to work with pregnant women who smoke and how to reduce pregnant women's exposure to secondhand smoke. The interventions are based on current best practices and all clinic patients receive a strong message to eliminate tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. Funding through First 5 Contra Costa will allow the project to work with four prenatal care clinics to integrate the inventions into their practices. For more information, call Sylvia Taqi-Edden at 925-313-6218.

Olympic High School has received a Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) grant from the Mount Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) to provide cessation classes for students. The Center for Human Development, a long time facilitator of youth smoking cessation programs, will be running the classes. Olympic students will also participate in tobacco prevention education activities. Olympic's grant comes on the heels of the Tobacco Prevention Project's two year effort to help the school increase its capacity to implement Center for Disease Control's Recommendations for Tobacco Prevention on Campus. The grant is part of a $400,00, three-year grant to MDUSD. For more information, call Jess McCreary at 925-682-8000, ext 4069.

Tobacco Prevention Coalition Meeting
Thursday, January 27, 10 a.m.- noon
IBEW Local 302, 1875 Arnold Drive, Martinez

Secondhand Smoke in Tribal Casinos and Resorts

Lou Salazar of the American Indian Tobacco Education Partnership, Theresa Boschert of BREATH and Erin Gabel of Supervisor John Gioia's office will participate in a panel presentation and discussion about Indian sovereignty, statewide efforts to create smoke-free Indian gaming, worker issues and organizing strategies, and the West County casino proposals.

Lisa Fu and Reiko Mayeno of APPEAL, Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment and Leadership, made a presentation at the November coalition meeting, "Addressing Tobacco as a Social Justice Issue in the AAPI Community." They highlighted the diversity of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (API) population and the different smoking rates of API ethnic groups. They showed how the tobacco industry targets the API population and contributes to the uptake of tobacco by API youth. Call the Tobacco Prevention Project at 925-313-6214 for a copy of their presentation.

Contra Costa's legislators had a mixed record of voting on tobacco control bills in 2003-2004. Senators Perata and Torlakson and Assembly Member Hancock consistently voted for tobacco control bills supported by the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society and American Heart Association. Assembly Members Canciamilla voted for only one bill supported by these organizations, a ban on the self-service display of all tobacco products, and Houston voted against all of them. Houston and Canciamilla did support AB 3092, a bill to increase the fines for not posting the STAKE sign, and Houston supported AB 384, the ban on tobacco in prisons. The voluntary organizations did not take a position on these two bills. For more information, go to

Two-year fellowship positions at the postdoctoral and advanced (senior scholar) level are available in the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco. Fellows are being recruited from a variety of fields, including basic sciences, social sciences, clinical fields, public health, marketing, political science, history, economics and law. Stipends available through the program range from approximately $37,000-$53,000 annually - depending on years of postdoctoral experience. The application deadline is January 31, 2005 and the fellowship begins July 1, 2005. For more information, email

Renters throughout California want no smoking sections in their apartment complexes and limited smoking in outdoor common areas. According to a statewide survey by the American Lung Association of California's' Center of Tobacco Policy and Organizing. They also want to limit smoking in outdoor common areas. The support for separate non-smoking sections was highest among those who live in public housing. There is a trend among local housing authorities and municipalities to make entire buildings smoke-free. The survey, conducted for ALA by Goodwin-Simon Strategic Research is available online at

In a Letter to the Editor of the Record Courier, health activist Melinda Matus of Minden, Nevada, reports that the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act: Protecting Children and Families from Secondhand Smoke collected enough signatures to put the measure before the Nevada legislature. The bill would ban smoking in most public places except in stand-alone bars and gaming areas of casinos.

Women exposed to tobacco smoke are 2.6 times more likely to contract breast cancer, according to the results of a survey conducted by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Adverse effects from passive smoking were particularly damaging among pre-menopausal women. The research team led by Shoichiro Tsugane, a division chief of the National Cancer Center, surveyed about 20,000 women in their 40s and 50s. The group researched relationships between lifestyle and such diseases as cancer from 1990 for about 10 years. The results of the survey showed that the incidence of breast cancer among pre-menopausal female smokers was 3.6 times higher than that for postmenopausal female nonsmokers, while passive smoking was found to increase the risk of contracting breast cancer among nonsmokers by 260 percent.

According to UC San Francisco researcher Dr. Stan Glantz, Minnesota is likely to become the nation's eighth smoke-free workplace state, joining California, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. "The bottom line is, I'm prepared and will sign a smoke-free workplace bill if it reaches my desk," Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty said after a recent meeting with Democratic Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson, who also supports such a law. Minnesota has been unable to pass smoke-free workplace legislation for the last few years, but this month voters ousted Lynda Boudreau, chairwoman of a key committee opposing such legislation, along with 12 others. The only major opponent left is House Speaker Steve Sviggum who controls a mere two-seat majority.

Big Tobacco is doing it again. RJ Reynolds Tobacco has come out with two new flavors of cigarettes of Camel cigarettes. Winter Mocha Mint and Warm Winter Toffee are clearly made to taste like chocolate mint and toffee flavored candy. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids suggests that health advocates tell their Congressional representatives what they think about tobacco companies continuing to target children. You can do that by logging on to

Contact FYI at 925-313-6214 or e-mail This newsletter was made possible by funds received from the Tobacco Health Protection Act of 1988-Proposition 99, under Contract Number 04-07, with the California Department of Health Services, Tobacco Control Section.

Content provided by the Tobacco Prevention Project of Contra Costa Health Services.

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