Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general.1,2 Quitting smoking lowers your risk for smoking-related diseases and can add years to your life.1,2
The Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed best practices for
comprehensive state tobacco control programs, with four program goals:[i]
initiation of tobacco use among young people
nonsmokers’ exposure to secondhand smoke
quitting among adults and young people
Identify and eliminate tobacco-related disparities
State & Community Interventions
Mass-Reach Health Communication Interventions
Surveillance & Evaluation
Infrastructure Administration & Management
To achieve these goals, Pennsylvania has set out to implement the first statewide comprehensive tobacco-use prevention program. Some of the state-level initiatives include a telephone quitline, efforts to counter tobacco marketing, surveillance of tobacco sales to minors, promotion of clinical-practice guidelines for assessment and treatment of tobacco addiction and program evaluation. Click here to view Pennsylvania's Strategic Plan for a Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program.
PA Free Quitline
The Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control partners with National Jewish Health to provide the PA Free Quitline and smoking cessation services to all Pennsylvanians 24 hours per day / seven days per week. The PA Free Quitline offers:
- Up to five coaching sessions by phone,
- Unlimited calls to the PA Free Quitline as needed,
- Educational materials on quitting tobacco use, and
- Free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) (up to eight weeks of patches) for qualified callers.
Click here for the PA Free Quitline website. Enroll online and learn more about Quitline services!
Click here to preview PA Free Quitline materials available.
Clean Indoor Air Act
Act 27 of 2008, the Clean Indoor Air Act that prohibits smoking in a public place or a workplace and lists examples of what is considered a public place. The bill allows for some exceptions, including a private residence (except those licensed as a child care facility), a private social function where the site involved is under the control of the sponsor (except where the site is owned, leased or operated by a state or local government agency) and a wholesale or retail tobacco shop. It also imposes penalties for those establishments in noncompliance, as well as those individuals smoking in prohibited areas.
Tobacco Retail Enforcement
Act 112 of 2002, an Act amending Titles 18 and 53 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, prohibiting the sale of tobacco to minors. In 2002, Pennsylvania's Act 112 amended Section 6305 of the Crimes Code and created new fines for clerks and owners of tobacco retail stores. The Act:
- Prohibits sales of tobacco products to a minor (individual under 18 years of age).
- Prohibits the furnishing of a tobacco product to a minor (selling tobacco to a minor).
- Prohibits vending machines to be in any place where a minor can gain access without the supervision of a parent or guardian.
- Restricts displaying or offering for sale a cigarette out of a pack.
- Restricts access to tobacco products by non-employees.
The goal of this Act is to decrease access to tobacco products for youth and ultimately end illegal tobacco sales to and use by minors in Pennsylvania. In response to this Act, the Pennsylvania Department of Health conducts compliance checks at tobacco retailers across the state to make sure tobacco products are not sold to minors.
To report a tobacco retailer selling tobacco products to minors, please email the Pennsylvania Department of Health at RA-DH,TobaccoSales@pa.gov .
Include the following information in your email:
type of product being sold to youth