About Us

About California's Tobacco Control Program

In November 1988, California voters approved the Tobacco Tax and Health Protection Act through the passage of Proposition 99, which added a 25-cent tax to each pack of cigarettes. A portion of the tax funds the California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP), the longest-running comprehensive tobacco control program in the nation.

CTCP's mission is to improve the health of all Californians by reducing illness and premature death from the use of tobacco products. This is accomplished by educating and motivating the public to:

  • Decrease exposure to the harmful effects of secondhand smoke and toxic cigarette waste in the environment.
  • Understand the dangerous influence of the tobacco industry.
  • Take action and get involved in the fight against tobacco in their community.
  • Break their addiction to tobacco.

Since the program began in 1989, California has led the way in forever changing how the public sees tobacco use and tobacco industry marketing.

Positive results can be seen throughout California:

  • 88 percent of Californians do not smoke. 1
  • Youth smoking rates are one of the lowest in the nation. 2 3
  • Lung cancer incidence rates are decreasing over three times faster in California than in the rest of the country. 4

To read more about CTCP's successes, click here.

While there have been many successes, a lot remains to be done:

  • Tobacco use continues to be the single most preventable cause of illness, disability and premature death. 5
  • One out of eight Californians still smoke – equal to over three million people, the same population as the city of Los Angeles.1 6
  • Thousands of children become addicted to tobacco every year. 7
  • Millions of Californians continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work.8
  • Every year, the tobacco industry spends billions to hook new smokers, develop new products and keep current customers by offering deeply discounted coupons. 9

Join us in the fight against tobacco and learn how you can Get Involved. You can also read more about the history of tobacco control in California, with its many triumphs and setbacks, by viewing our Interactive Timeline.

If you have any questions or comments, please Contact Us.

CTCP - California Tobacco Control Program
Since CTCP Began in 1990, the adult smoking rate has dropped 42% and California has saved over $86 billion in health care costs.
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. California Department of Public Health, 1984-2010.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students—United States, 2000–2009. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2010;59(33):1063–8.
  • California Student Tobacco Survey, 2006
  • Cowling, D W., Yang, J. "Smoking-Attributable Cancer Mortality in California, 1979-2005," Tobacco Control 2010;19(Suppl 1):i62ei67.
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Productivity Losses—United States, 2000–2004. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2008;57(45):1226–8.
  • U.S. Census, 2010.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Rockville, MD
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control. State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation (STATE) System, 2007.
  • Federal Trade Commission Cigarette Report for 2006, Washington, DC, 2009.