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Tobacco education and research oversight committee (teroc)

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

Objective ​1. Reduce Disparities Related to Commercial Tobacco Use

 Despite progress in reducing the overall prevalence of commercial tobacco use in California, alarming disparities based on demographic, socioeconomic, geographic, and other factors persist. Communities with disproportionately high rates of tobacco use are subjected to targeted, predatory marketing tactics by the tobacco industry,25 suffer more tobacco-related disease,14 and are less likely to receive medical advice or assistance to quit.26,27 Some populations are more exposed to secondhand smoke at home and in the workplace.28 Affected communities experience institutionalized racism, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of bias and exclusion which exacerbate these disparities.29,30 To achieve health equity across systems, policies, and programs, TEROC recommends that the tobacco control movement take a systematic approach to identifying and reducing these disparities.

Doctor examing a child held but it's mother.

Featured Story

Isaac Bowen, a young transgender man who has struggled to quit tobacco, is one of several LGBTQ individuals featured in a video by We Breathe. We Breathe brings attention to the root causes of disparities in the LGBTQ community, including social stigma, discrimination, and denial of civil rights. The organization provides trainings that address the oppression many LGBTQ individuals have experienced, how to be more inclusive, and special considerations for helping this community quit tobacco. The video can be viewed on We Breathe's ( webpage.

LGBT WE breathe Member


14. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tobacco Use Among U.S. Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups—African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 1998.

25. Cruz TB, Rose SW, Lienemann BA, et al. Pro-tobacco marketing and anti-tobacco campaigns aimed at vulnerable populations: A review of the literature. Tob Induc Dis. 2019;17:68. doi:10.18332/tid/111397.

26. Landrine H, Corral I, Campbell KM. Racial disparities in healthcare provider advice to quit smoking. Prev Med Rep. 2018;10:172-175. doi:10.1016/j.pmedr.2018.03.003.

27. Cokkinides VE, Halpern MT, Barbeau EM, Ward E, Thun MJ. Racial and ethnic disparities in smoking-cessation interventions: Analysis of the 2005 National Health Interview Survey. Am J Prev Med. 2008;34(5):404-412. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2008.02.003.

28. Max W, Sung HY, Shi Y. Exposure to secondhand smoke at home and at work in California. Public Health Rep. 2012;127(1):81-88. doi:10.1177/003335491212700109.

29. McCabe SE, Hughes TL, Matthews AK, et al. Sexual orientation discrimination and tobacco use disparities in the United States. Nicotine Tob Res. 2019;21(4):523-531. doi:10.1093/ntr/ntx283.

30. Webb Hooper M, Calixte-Civil P, Verzijl C, et al. Associations between perceived racial discrimination and tobacco cessation among diverse treatment seekers. Ethn Dis. 2020;30(3):411-420. doi:10.18865/ed.30.3.411.

31. Proposition 56, The California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016, California Revenue & Taxation Code, §30130.55.

32. Public Health Law Center. Regulating Flavored Tobacco Products.  May 2019.

33. California Health and Safety Code, §104559.5 (2020).

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