In November 1998, 46 states, including California, signed an agreement with the major tobacco companies to settle the state's lawsuits against the tobacco industry in order to recover the costs of smoking-related illnesses and other claims including unfair advertising practices and marketing illegally to youth.
Through the efforts of the Orange County Health Care Agency staff a comprehensive plan to significantly reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke countywide was developed. The Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Project is the "centerpiece" of that plan, made possible by the Orange County Health Care Agency through funds received from the National Tobacco Settlement.
Because data shows that the two major sources of youth access to tobacco are tobacco retailers and social sources, it is imperative that we work with the local tobacco retailers, and their patrons, to ensure that everyone is abiding by laws that prohibit selling or providing tobacco to a minor.
The Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Project is an innovative, comprehensive, community based program that is currently being implemented throughout Orange County. America On Track has had great success over the past 9 years with similar projects in the cities of Anaheim, La Habra, Orange, and Santa Ana. For the 2011-2012 year, America On Track will implement the project in the cities of Newport Beach, Orange, Rancho Santa Margarita, and San Juan Capistrano. Our goal is to reduce youth access to tobacco by 20% and to educate community members on the harmful effects of tobacco and secondhand smoke.
America On Track will accomplish this goal by providing the following intensive services in collaboration with businesses, law enforcement, city and community agencies, youth and adult residents, and other key stakeholders: