This empirical research establishes the need for a comprehensive, multi-prong approach to tobacco control. Critical elements of any tobacco control strategy include measures that “chang[e] the social and cultural attitudes surrounding tobacco use” and “restrict tobacco accessibility.” Tobacco Education and Research Oversight Committee for California, Toward A Tobacco-Free California 2006-2008 at 3 (March 2006). Restrictions on smoking (and not just tobacco sales) are also central because they serve the twin purposes of decreasing harmful exposure to secondhand smoke, see id. at 4, and potentially reducing future addiction rates of current non-smokers.
Government at all levels, especially the State of California, has been extremely responsive to these public health recommendations and has implemented significant measures in each of these three areas.
For example, the campaign by the State of California to shape social and cultural attitudes about tobacco is well known (and the subject of unsuccessful legal challenges by the tobacco industry). California uses cigarette tax revenue to fund a media “campaign to ‘denormalize’ smoking, by creating a climate in which smoking would seem less desirable and less socially acceptable.”
In one television advertisement,
entitled “Rain,” children in a schoolyard are shown looking up while cigarettes rain down on them from the sky. A voice-over states “We have to sell cigarettes to your kids. We need half a million new smokers a year just to stay in business. So we advertise near schools, at candy counters. We lower our prices. We have to. It’s nothing personal. You understand.” At the conclusion, the narrator says, “The tobacco industry: how low will they go to make a profit?”
“‘ There is substantial evidence, including published medical studies indicating that the [state’s Tobacco Control] programs, and the media campaign in particular, have been successful in achieving their goals’” of “preventing tobacco use by children and young adults.”
In addition, restrictions on the sale of tobacco are widespread. The sale of tobacco products to minors is prohibited throughout the state of California. See Cal. Penal Code §308; Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §22952. Over twenty campuses of the University of California, California State University, and California Community College system have prohibited the sale of tobacco products.
Finally, modest and limited restrictions enacted over thirty years ago eventually culminated in what is now a virtual ban by the State of California on indoor smoking in public places and even some outdoor locations. The history of these restrictions demonstrates that incremental measures have been necessary precursors to more extensive prohibitions. For example:
C In 1976, California enacted the Indoor Clean Air Act, which requires that publicly owned buildings, health facilities, and retail food establishments dedicate significant portions of indoor spaces open to the general public as non-smoking areas.
C Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, hundreds of California municipalities adopted ordinances limiting smoking in government buildings, public places, restaurants, and private workplaces.
- In 1987, California prohibited smoking on all forms of transit in the state, including airplanes, trains, and buses.
- In 1989, the federal government enacted legislation banning smoking on all domestic airline flights of six hours or less.
- In 1993, California prohibited smoking in licensed day care centers and, during hours of operation, in private residences licensed as family day care homes in areas where children are present.
- In 1995, California’s comprehensive smokefree workplace law took effect, prohibiting smoking in virtually all enclosed workplaces, including offices, restaurants, and shops.
- In 1998, bars in California became smokefree.
- In 2000, the federal government banned smoking on all domestic flights, as well as flights to and from the country.
- In 2001, California prohibited smoking on playgrounds or tot lot sandbox areas.
- In 2003, California prohibited smoking within 20 feet of a main entrance, exit, or operable window of a public building owned or leased by the state, a county, a city, a city and county, or a California Community College district.
- In 2004, California prohibited tobacco possession or use by inmates under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections and the Department of the Youth Authority.
- In 2007, California prohibited smoking in vehicles with children.