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Achieving Health Equity: Toward a Commercial Tobacco-Free California, 2021-2022

​​Objective 2: Strengthen capacity for tobacco control

Achieving health equity in tobacco control requires strengthening capacity to serve California's diverse communities.

TEROC recommends investing greater resources where people do not have equal opportunities to be healthy; developing diverse new leaders; and, building power and influence in marginalized and underserved groups experiencing institutionalized racism, homophobia, transphobia, and other patterns of bias exclusion.

Questions to determine the needs and opportunities for capacity building in tobacco control include:

  • Which communities and populations have the highest tobacco prevalence rates? Which are disproportionately affected by tobacco-related disease?

  • Which communities are targeted by the tobacco industry? Which struggle with the triangulum of tobacco, cannabis, and e-cigarettes?

  • Which communities have the least infrastructure to undertake tobacco control work or have been under-resourced in the past?

  • Which communities, underrepresented in tobacco research, have strong youth advocates who can become the next generation of researchers? Which have strong health workforce development alliances that can help advance tobacco control initiatives?

  • What new partners can help advance structural equity work in tobacco control?

  • What new strength-based assessments within marginalized communities are needed to generate sustained, measurable impacts relevant to tobacco work?

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​​Featured Story

Rakiah Anderson, MPH, hails from Pasadena. While doing her undergraduate work at UC Berkeley, Rakiah was a Health Career Connection intern at TRDRP, which sparked her interest in becoming a tobacco control advocate. She then received a TRDRP Cornelius Hopper Diversity Supplement to do work with Dr. Juliet Lee on social media research on dual use of tobacco and cannabis. Rakiah participated in the Youth Activism Fellowship program at the Truth Initiative, serving as Youth Trainer and Youth Board Liaison. In 2020 she received her MPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public. During her studies there, she chaired the Minority Health Conference and received the American Evaluation Association's Graduate Education Diversity Internship. Her research interests focus on tobacco prevention and health equity. 

Rakiah Anderson in front of her poster presentation

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34. Public Health Law Center. Tribal Tax Policies for Commercial Tobacco.  March 2019

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