The Public Health Law Center and the American Lung Association in California were awarded a $6 million, 5-year contract by the California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP) at the California Department of Health to support commercial tobacco control professionals and advocates in their work to end the commercial tobacco epidemic in California. The contract for the Statewide Policy Implementation and Development Coordination Center begins July 1, 2019.

Commercial tobacco use remains the number one cause of preventable death, disease, and disability in the United States. Direct health care costs attributed to commercial tobacco use in California alone are $13.29 billion annually. After decades of hard work, California has the second lowest statewide rate of smoking in the U.S., but there are still challenges. California has more smokers (3.2 million) than the entire population of Utah. Also, specific population groups are smoking at much higher rates, and as a result, are suffering disproportionately.

“We’re excited to help California finish the fight against the commercial tobacco epidemic and achieve its goal of zero percent commercial tobacco use by 2035,” said Doug Blanke, Executive Director of the Public Health Law Center.

“California has long paved the way for progressive tobacco control policy, and we are committed to ending tobacco use in California within this new capacity” said Vanessa Marvin, Division Vice President, State Advocacy, American Lung Association.

More detailed information will be shared with California commercial tobacco control partners in the coming weeks.

The Public Health Law Center collaborates with others to reduce and eliminate commercial tobacco, promote healthy food, support physical activity, and address other causes of chronic disease. Our belief in health and equity for all people is at the core of our work. Our partnerships include Tribal health leaders, federal agencies, national health advocacy organizations, state and local governments, planners, researchers, attorneys, community coalitions, and individuals working on public health issues. Our deep knowledge, thoughtful legal and policy analysis, and individualized approach help these partners create healthier communities around the country. For more information, visit

The American Lung Association in California is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through research, education and advocacy. The Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer, to improve the air we breathe, to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families, and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association in California or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-685-4872) or visit


March 12, 2019