Cupertino receives grant to implement tobacco use prevention policies

The City of Cupertino has received a grant that will go toward strategies to reduce the availability of tobacco products.

The City of Cupertino has received a grant from the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department that will go toward strategies to reduce the availability of tobacco products and prevent youth access and exposure to flavored tobacco products.

Cupertino is among six cities to get a chunk of $310,000 from the Health Department. Other cities to receive in-kind support through June 30, 2021 include Milpitas, Morgan Hill, San Jose, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale. Cupertino is getting $56,000, with anticipated reach of 17,677 youth under 21 years old, according to the Health Department.

Countywide, funding will go toward a variety related efforts, including decreasing secondhand smoke exposure in living spaces with a shared wall and the availability of tobacco products within cities, including prohibiting new businesses from selling tobacco near youth-populated areas, such as schools, parks, and community centers, the Health Department stated.

“Tobacco continues to have devastating impacts on the health of our residents,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese in a press release. “The County has led the way on implementing some of the strongest tobacco control measures in the nation. In partnership with all cities, we must double down on efforts to address the tobacco industry marketing of flavored products, including menthol cigarettes and vaping products that are impacting our youth.”

“I commend our cities for stepping up to do their part to fight for healthier communities through proactive tobacco-prevention work,” Santa Clara County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg stated in the press release. “Our youth are some of our community’s most vulnerable members, and it is our duty as civic servants to ensure we do our part so they have the best chance for success.”

The Health Department says that in Santa Clara County, one in eight deaths annually is “attributed to smoking-related illness or diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and respiratory diseases.” More than one in 10 youths in the County currently use tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices.

All cities in the County were invited to apply for funding. The funding is available through Proposition 56, the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Act of 2016, which increased the tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products by two dollars.

Over the past eight years, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department has provided more than $1.2 million in funding to cities to support implementation of tobacco prevention strategies.