Health Department

The Northwest Pennsylvania (NWPA) Tobacco Control Program

 

Who We Are and What We Do

The Northwest Pennsylvania (NWPA) Tobacco Control Program is part of the health education division at the Erie County Department of Health (ECDH). This program is funded through a contract with the Pennsylvania Department of Health using Master Settlement Agreement dollars, also known as tobacco settlement funds. Staff in the Tobacco Control Program work to achieve the following program goals in the 13 counties of the NWPA Health District:

  • Prevent initiation of tobacco use among young people.
  • Promote quitting among young people and adults.
  • Reduce non-smokers’ exposure to tobacco smoke pollution.
  • Identify and eliminate disparities related to tobacco use.

Goals are accomplished by following Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).   In addition, ECDH works with several organizations and community partners to provide tobacco education/prevention, cessation, and enforcement services to the community.

View the most recent Strategic Plan for PA Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs, published by the American Lung Association.

How We Are Funded

In November of 1998, Pennsylvania Attorney General Mike Fisher and several other state attorney generals reached an agreement regarding a lawsuit against the five major tobacco companies. The Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) with Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Brown and Williamson, and Lolliard and Liggett Group settled the states’ lawsuits for recovery of tobacco related Medicaid costs.

Settlement dollars are to be paid by the tobacco companies to the states over a period of 25 years. In addition, provisions exist to restrict tobacco advertising. On June 6, 2001, Governor Tom Ridge signed into law Act 77, which stipulated how the MSA funds would be distributed in the state of Pennsylvania. Chapter 7 of Act 77 requires the creation of a “comprehensive tobacco use prevention and cessation program” in all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.

Northwest Pennsylvania Regional Tobacco Coalition

The coalition is a multi-organizational effort established to address tobacco use in the 13 counties of the Northwest Pennsylvania Health District. 

The Coalition is dedicated to addressing tobacco-related issues in the following topic areas:

  • Prevent the initiation of tobacco use among young people
  • Eliminate nonsmokers' exposure to tobacco smoke pollution (secondhand smoke)
  • Promote quitting among adults and young people
  • Identify and eliminate tobacco-related health disparities

Counties represented on the coalition include:

  Cameron   Elk   Lawrence   Warren
  Clarion   Erie   McKean  
  Clearfield   Forest   Mercer  
  Crawford   Jefferson   Venango  

 

The Coalition holds regional meetings at least twice per year.  The coalition also offers trainings and educational sessions for coalition members and partners interested in tobacco-related issues. 

For more information about membership or the activities of the coalition, call Michael Quiggle at 814-451-7855 or email us at nwpatobaccofree@hotmail.com.

Cessation

ECDH and its partners offer tobacco cessation assistance throughout the year.   

Three types of cessation services are offered through the Northwest Pennsylvania Tobacco Control Program, including:

  • In-person classes with a trained cessation facilitator. Call 814-451-6700
  • Online at QUITLOGIX.COM
  • Over the phone through the PA Free Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may access the TTY line at 1-888-229-2182 or by using their personal service provider to place a video relay call using the regular Quitline number 1-800-774-8669.

Prevention 

ECDH offers a variety of technical assistance and programming related to tobacco use prevention. 

Tobacco Resistance Unit (TRU)
Engaging Youth in tobacco use prevention and advocacy efforts. For more information or to start a TRU group, visit truinpa.org or call 814-451-6700.

 

Enforcement

In 2008, Pennsylvania legislation passed the Clean Indoor Air Act. The legislation, Senate Bill 246, 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 2 penalties for those establishments not in compliance, as well as those individuals smoking in prohibited areas.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s Clean Indoor Air Act, including an updated list of establishments that have an exception and allow smoking, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health Clean Indoor Air website.

Reporting a Violation

To report a violation via telephone, please call 1-877-835-9535.

To report a violation electronically, please click here. 

Once you have completed the form you can click the ‘Submit’ button.
If you are uncertain about how or where to submit the Form, or would like more information, call the Clean Indoor Air Help Line at 1-877-835-9535.

Signage

The PA Clean Indoor Air Act requires signs for all businesses affected by the Act, including those that were smoke-free before the Act became effective. Businesses must post either a "no smoking" or "smoking permitted" sign, depending on how the law affects the business. Signs should be posted at all entrances.

Some businesses are affected by what is commonly referred to as the "minor rule" and must post signs stating that no one under the age of 18 is permitted in the premises (signs saying "under 21 not permitted" are in compliance with CIAA).

While it is not mandatory that a business use signs provided by the PADOH, the PADOH website has signs "no smoking" and "smoking permitted" signs available for businesses to download, print, and use. Signs for the "minor rule" are currently not available for download.

You may download "no smoking" or "smoking permitted" signs for self-printing by visiting the PADOH website or by choosing your preference below. Signs from the PADOH website are formatted for 1 per page. Signs below are formatted 2 per page.

No Smoking

Color: English Spanish

Black & White: English Spanish

Smoking Permitted

Color: English Spanish 

Black & White: English Spanish

 

Contacts

For more information, contact us at the Erie County Department of Health at 814-451-6700.

American Lung Association

Conducts programs addressing smoking cessation, prevention, and the protection of nonsmokers' health and provides a variety of educational materials for the public and health professionals. Refer to your phone book for the ALA chapter in your area or contact the national office below for further information.  Call 1-800-LUNG-USA or visit website at http://www.lungusa.org/

American Heart Association

Promotes smoking intervention programs at schools, workplaces, and health care sites. Refer to your phone book for the AHA chapter in your area or contact the national office below for further information. Call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit website at http://www.americanheart.org/

American Cancer Society

Provides smoking education, prevention, and cessation programs and distributes pamphlets, posters, and exhibits on smoking. Refer to your phone book for the ACS chapter in your area or contact the national office below for further information. Call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit website at http://www.cancer.org/

Great American Smoke Out – The American Cancer Society

http://www.cancer.org/Healthy/StayAwayfromTobacco/GreatAmericanSmokeout/index

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/index.htm

The CDC State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation (STATE) System is an electronic data warehouse containing up-to-date and historical state-level data on tobacco use prevention and control.  http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/statesystem/

National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids

Works to protect children from exposure and addiction to tobacco by raising awareness; changing public policies to limit the marketing and sales of tobacco to children; altering the environment in which tobacco use and policy decisions are made; and actively countering the tobacco industry and its special interests. The Campaign also encourages youth advocacy to support policy change, to hold tobacco control activities and to help educate peers on the dangers of tobacco. http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/

Pennsylvania Alliance to Control Tobacco (PACT)

PACT assists the PA Department  of Health in strengthening the statewide information and education network on the health impact of tobacco use on tobacco users and non-tobacco users, and works with local shareholders to increase ability and activity on a local level, providing the impetus needed to initiate a statewide grassroots campaign focusing on tobacco pollution.  www.pactonline.org

Pennsylvania Department of Health Division of Tobacco Control and Prevention

Home Page

Tobacco Use Cessation

QuitNet is offered at no cost to all residents of Erie County and Northwestern Pennsylvania.  Assistance is available in English or Spanish.  www.quitnet.com

The Pennsylvania Department of Health and the American Cancer Society offer a free telephone based cessation service for those who wish to quit using tobacco.  Assistance is available in English, Spanish, and many other languages.                                       

For more information, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit the website at http://1800quitnow.cancer.gov

QuitLogix is available to act as a social support for tobacco users.  https://pa.quitlogix.org

Smokeless Tobacco Cessation Resources:

ChewFree  is a project funded by the National Institutes of Health to help people quit using smokeless tobacco.
 

MyLastDip  is a project funded by the Oregon Research Institute to help youth and young adults ages 14 - 25 quit using smokeless tobacco.

Tobacco Prevention Websites for Select Populations

Women:
http://women.smokefree.gov


Smoking & Pregnancy: 
http://women.smokefree.gov/topic-pregnancy.aspx

African Americans: 
The National African American Tobacco Prevention Network (NAATPN)
http://www.naatpn.org

Hispanic/Latino: 
The National Latino Tobacco Control Network
http://latinotobaccocontrol.org

Youth:

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention - Youth Tobacco Prevention
www.cdc.gov/tobacco/youth/index.htm

The Truth.com  
www.thetruth.com

Kick Butts Day 
http://kickbuttsday.org/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC provides reports and information regarding national and state policies and their impact.  http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/by_topic/policy/index.htm

Center for Tobacco Products (FDA)

The Center for Tobacco Products at the FDA is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.  This website contains information about the law and resources for education and enforcement. www.fda.gov/tobaccoproducts/

Pennsylvania Alliance to Control Tobacco (PACT)

PACT assists the PA Department of Health in strengthening the statewide information and education network on the health impact of tobacco use on tobacco users and non-tobacco users, and works with local shareholders to increase ability and activity on a local level, providing the impetus needed to initiate a statewide grassroots campaign focusing on tobacco pollution.  www.pactonline.org

Pennsylvania General Assembly

The PA General Assembly website allows you to find out who your state legislators are so that you can educate them on important issues.  You can also look up proposed and final legislation by bill number or by keyword.  www.legis.state.pa.us

Tobacco Control Legal Consortium

The Tobacco Control Legal Consortium is a comprehensive resource for policies related to tobacco control.  http://www.tclconline.org/

Moore Research

The NWPA Tobacco Control Program partners with Moore Research to perform regional assessments that guide program development.  http://www.moore-research.com/how-we-do-it/success-stories/


Erie County Courthouse - 140 West Sixth Street, Erie, PA 16501 - (814) 451-6000 - TDD Phone: (814) 451-6237 - Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm
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