Case Study


The Problem

In 1988 California voters passed Proposition 99, which levied a 25-cent tax on every pack of cigarettes sold in the state. The money raised from the tax has been used to fund educational and policy change programs, including creating and supporting local “tobacco control coalitions” managed by county health departments and composed of members of the community.

In recent years, these local tobacco control coalitions seem to have lost the political power to pass their health policy goals. One of the reasons is that they lack the ability to recruit the prominent community leaders that are required to influence decision-makers. In addition, coalition members often do not have the skills in community organizing and strategic planning that are required to make the policy campaigns successful.

What We Did

Community Focus partnered with the American Lung Association of California on a state-wide project to provide assistance to local tobacco control coalitions and other projects funded by Proposition 99. This project, the Center for Tobacco Policy and Organizing, is funded by the California Department of Health Services. We provide a wide range of services designed to increase the organizational capacity of local tobacco control coalitions, including planning and facilitation of workshops on strategic organizing, recruitment to build and re-energize coalitions and public speaking. We also offer technical assistance to local health professionals involved in planning or executing policy campaigns.


  • The Center for Tobacco Policy and Organizing has developed and delivered over 40 trainings at the local and regional level throughout California

  • Approximately 75 percent of local tobacco control coalitions in the State of California have received training from the Center

  • Evaluation surveys report 90% satisfaction with training provided

  • We have delivered presentations/workshops on capacity-building skills at nine statewide and regional tobacco control conferences



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