Program Highlights

California's Successes in Tobacco Control

California Department of Public HealthCalifornia Tobacco Control Program
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Did You Know?
The successes of CTCP have led to a savings of $86 billion in health care costs and over one million lives.10
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The California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP) is a world leader in tobacco control and has demonstrated that it saves lives, saves kids from a lifetime of addiction and saves money. The state's comprehensive approach to tobacco control has proven highly effective. By tackling tobacco through many channels - an aggressive media campaign and hundreds of advocates working at the local level - public awareness of the dangers of tobacco use and secondhand smoke have dramatically increased. Most Californians have decided to quit or never to start using tobacco, and fewer people are exposed to secondhand smoke.

California Adult Smoking Rate Decline of 50 Percent Since 1988

  • Only 12 percent of California adults smoke, which is the second lowest adult smoking rate in the nation.1 2

California Teenagers Smoke Less

  • Smoking rates among California high school students dropped by 32.4 percent between 2000 and 2008.3 4
  • Fewer teenagers smoke in California than almost anywhere else in the country.5

The Use of Tobacco Products Declines Dramatically

  • Consumption of tobacco products has decreased by more than 67 percent since 1989.6

California Tobacco-Related Cancers Decline

  • California's smoking-attributable cancer mortality rate has dropped 25.7 percent from 1979 to 2005 compared to the rest of the nation, which showed a decrease of only 8.9 percent in the same time period.7
  • Lung and bronchial cancer rates in California are declining over three times faster than in the rest of the United States.8

Fewer Californians Are Exposed to Secondhand Smoke

  • As secondhand smoke policies have increased, exposure to secondhand smoke has become less socially acceptable.9
  • In 2008, more than 83 percent of California smokers did not allow any smoking in their homes, up from 20.3 percent in 1993.3
  • California Department of Public Health, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and California Adult Tobacco Survey, 2009. Sacramento, CA, 2010.
  • "State-Specific Prevalence and Trends in Adult Cigarette Smoking -- United States, 1998-2007," MMWR; March 13, 2009/58(09); 221-226.
  • California Department of Public Health. California Student Tobacco Survey, 2008. Sacramento, CA, 2010.
  • California Department of Public Health. Youth Smoking Fact Sheet. 2008.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tobacco Control State Highlights, 2010. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010.
  • California Department of Public Health. California State Board of Equalization (packs sold) and California Department of Finance (population). U.S Census, Tax Burden on Tobacco, and USDA using data by fiscal year (July 1-June 30). Sacramento, 2010.
  • Cowling, D W., and Yang, J., "Smoking-Attributable Cancer Mortality in California, 1979-2005," Tobacco Control 2010;19(Suppl 1):i62ei67.
  • California Department of Public Health. Unpublished Analysis of Cancer Surveillance Section Data. Sacramento, 2008.
  • Francis, J A., et al., "Policy-Driven Tobacco Control." Tobacco Control 2010;19 (Suppl 1):i16ei20.
  • Lightwood, J M., Dinno, A. Glantz, S A, "Effect of the California Tobacco Control Program on Personal Healthcare Expenditures," PLoS Medicine 2008 5(8): e178.