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Tobacco Education
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The Colusa County Tobacco Education Program provides educational materials about the health effects of tobacco use and secondhand smoke as well as resources for individuals who wish to quit smoking.

Current Projects:
Smoke free Multi-Unit Housing:

Smoke-free Multi-Unit Housing 

Secondhand smoke is not only a nuisance, but is harmful to those who breathe it in. Residents of multi-unit housing complexes can be exposed to tobacco smoke that drifts into hallways and neighboring units through doors, walls, balconies, plumbing, vents, and windows. This can aggravate existing conditions like asthma, cancer, and respiratory infections, especially since secondhand smoke cannot be controlled through ventilation or air cleaning. In addition, cigarettes are a leading cause of residential fire fatalities each year. Living in smoke-free housing reduces the risk of fire and lowers maintenance costs for apartment managers.

 

  • Twelve million Californians live in multi-unit housing (housing with two or more units) and it is estimated that 5.25 million of those Californians are exposed to secondhand smoke against their wishes.
  • Secondhand smoke is responsible for an estimated 42,000 deaths from heart disease and 7,000 deaths from lung cancer in non-smoking adults.
  • In children, secondhand smoke can lead to more ear infections, bronchitis, colds, and worsening asthma symptoms.
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Third-hand smoke refers to toxins that remain after a cigarette, cigar or pipe has been extinguished. Smoke from tobacco products can stick to surfaces like clothes, hair, carpet, blankets and furniture. The toxins can stay on unwashed surfaces for weeks or months and are harmful when breathed in. This is especially true for children and babies who are at a greater risk for exposure compared to adults. In addition, third-hand smoke toxins can get on the fur and feathers of pets, which poses a threat to their health as well.

Smoke-free MUH policies are legal and typically self-enforcing. The American Lung Association reports 78% of California voters support a law requiring non-smoking sections in apartments. According to data collected 130 Colusa County residents from January to June 2015:


   
  • 98% of respondents felt secondhand smoke was harmful to their health. 
  
  • 91% felt apartment complexes should offer non-smoking units.
    • 86% believe that apartment complexes should designate common indoor areas as smoke-free.
    • 88% believed that apartment complexes should designate common outdoor areas as smoke-free.

Additional resources on smoke-free multi-unit housing can be found at: 


http://changelabsolutions.org/
http://center4tobaccopolicy.org/
http://no-smoke.org/

Multi-Unit Fact Sheet
Multi-Unit Fact Sheet in Spanish

Youth Tobacco Prevention Coalitions
In order to inform peers and the community about the risks of tobacco addiction, three youth tobacco prevention coalitions have been established. Monthly after school meetings allow students to plan and implement health promotion activities and get engaged with their communities to promote tobacco free lifestyles. Activities include tobacco litter clean-ups, attending community events, conducting surveys and community education, meeting with local stakeholders and many more. Youth coalition sites include:

  • Princeton High School
  • Pierce High School
  • Colusa Independent Learning Program

Healthy Storefronts
As part of the statewide campaign, Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community, local data was collected in 33 tobacco retail outlets throughout Colusa County. This included convenience stores, gas stations, corner markets and grocery stores. Information on storefront advertising , along with data on availability and pricing of tobacco, alcohol and food was collected to better understand what products are being sold and how they are being promoted. Based on this data, we know the number of stores that have unhealthy exterior advertising  for products like cigarettes and beer is 10 times greater than the percentage of stores that have healthy exterior advertising.

While the California Business and Professions Code § 25612.5, also known as the Lee Law, prohibits alcohol retailers from having more than 33% of window space covered with advertising or signs of any kind, 42% of Colusa County stores have more than the allotted amount of window space covered with signage. Given that youth are 3 times more likely to be influenced by a tobacco advertisement than an adult, and underage drinking increases when youth are exposed to alcohol ads, reducing the amount of advertisement space for these products could reduce youth intake.
                                                  
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For more information about the Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community Campaign and local Colusa County data, click here
                                                          

For more information about the Tobacco Education Program or to find out how to help make Colusa County a healthier, tobacco-free community, contact the Project Director at (530) 458-0380.

For more information on how to quit, click here to visit the California Smokers Helpline.

Additional links: