Over 40 policies were adopted relating to cigarettes online use and second-hand smoke cigarettes by communities in Santa Clara County.

Los Altos' decision to ban smoking cigarettes in its city parks won recognition among several cities honored by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department Wednesday.

The county was one of only three in the state to get a $6.9 million federal grant, tackle cigarettes prevention issues, from policy and systems changes, to environmental changes.

In August, the Los Altos City Council voted to ban smoking cigarettes in city parks, and the littering of related paraphernalia.

Department spokeswoman Amy Cornell said the goal was creating a healthy and tobacco-free community for all residents and visitors. The department recognized awardees during a luncheon that featured county Health Officer Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, county Public Health Director Dan Peddycord, county Supervisor Ken Yeager, Mountain View City Councilmember Margaret Abe-Koga, CEO of The Health Trust Fred Ferrer, and President and CEO of Asian Americans for Community Involvement Michele Lew.

From decreasing cheap cigarettes use and exposure to expanding coverage of cessation classes and nicotine replacement therapies, those working under the CPPW grant looked at the many ways to minimize the burden of tobacco in Santa Clara County.

The Public Health Department, along with many grant partners throughout the community, worked with local policy makers to ensure that residents and employees were better protected against the harms of secondhand smoke cigarettes in outdoor dining areas, parks, and other areas where smoking cigarettes was still allowed.

Those working under the CPPW grant also partnered with healthcare facilities to build cessation resources, and worked with local health plans to expand coverage options for nicotine replacement therapies. CPPW partners worked with local colleges and universities to create smoke-free campuses. CPPW partners’ work also includes working with local jurisdictions to decrease the illegal sales of tobacco to youth and hold tobacco retailers accountable for any sales to minors.

According to Cornell, CPPW partners inspired the successful adoption of over 40 policies relating to tobacco use and secondhand smoke cigarettes exposure at various levels.

In addition, the grant helped create a very successful campaign called “You Smoke, They Smoke,” which used television and radio advertisements to warn of the serious dangers of secondhand smoke, she said. They also created a youth prevention campaign, “Lame Reasons to Smoke” to discourage youth from using tobacco products, and are currently finishing a cessation campaign to encourage community members to quit smoking cigarettes.

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