Tobacco Education and Prevention Program

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Cigarette smoking in the U.S. causes more than 480,000 deaths annually, including nearly 41,000 deaths from secondhand smoke exposure. Additionally, more than 16 million Americans are living with a smoking-related disease. Smoking took an $18.1 billion toll in California – $487 for each resident – and was responsible for more than one in seven deaths in the state, more than from AIDS, influenza, diabetes, or many other causes.  

The mission of the Ventura County Public Health Tobacco Education and Prevention Program (TEPP) is to improve the health of all residents in Ventura County by reducing illness and premature death attributed to the use of tobacco products. 

The TEPP implements activities to: 

  • Prevent the initiation of tobacco use & reduce youth access to tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices and flavored tobacco products. 

  • Reduce exposure to secondhand smoke and third-hand smoke in apartments, condos, and public places. 

  • Build community capacity to address the root causes of tobacco use, particularly among populations most impacted. 

  • Increase access and raise awareness of the availability of tobacco cessation services. 

TEPP collaborates with community-based organizations and local, state, and health agencies to promote a healthy lifestyle and work towards a tobacco-free Ventura County. The goal of TEPP is to increase community awareness of the impact of tobacco use by engaging residents, key community partners, and elected leaders in implementing strategies to reduce the appeal of tobacco in the community. 

State and local policies can effectively reduce tobacco influences such as secondhand smoke and youth access to tobacco. California, Unincorporated Ventura County, and several cities in the county have policies to address these issues. 

TEPP provides educational presentations by request to community-based organizations, neighborhood groups, and parents. Presentations are offered in English and Spanish. The program provides education on the following topics: 

  • Health Consequences of Tobacco Use Tobacco 101 

  • Secondhand and Third-hand Smoke Exposure 

  • Quitting Tobacco Use 

  • Training for Tobacco Retailers on the sale of tobacco 

The program also offers free educational materials for the public and tobacco retailers. To request a presentation or educational materials, call 805-981-6656 or email 

Contact Us 
Program Coordinator: Vicky Gonzales  
Phone: 805-981-6656  

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