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Tobacco-Use Prevention Education Program Overview

Provides funding through an application process for tobacco-specific student instruction, reinforcement activities, special events, intervention, and cessation programs for students.

Proposition 99, approved by the California voters in the November 1988 general election, increased, by 25 cents, the tax on each pack of cigarettes sold in the state. The annual Budget Act appropriates funds from the Tobacco Surtax Fund for several purposes, including tobacco-use prevention education in schools. The Tobacco Education Research and Oversight Committee (TEROC) External link opens in new window or tab. serves as the body responsible for providing oversight and leadership to all tobacco prevention efforts in California.

Of the Tobacco-Use Prevention Education (TUPE) funds allocated to the California Department of Education (CDE) for school-based tobacco-use prevention education programs, the California Health and Safety Code Section 104430 requires at least two-thirds of the local assistance funds be allocated to local educational agencies (LEAs) for tobacco-use prevention, intervention, and cessation programs in schools as competitive grants. The remaining one-third of local assistance funds may be used for tobacco-use prevention programs for American Indian Education Centers, statewide program evaluation, technical assistance, implementation strategies, and regional coordinating activities related to tobacco-use prevention.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the University of California (UC) also receive anti-tobacco health education monies. The CDPH Tobacco Control Program External link opens in new window or tab. provides a statewide media campaign and community tobacco-use prevention and reduction programs. Competitive grants are offered for projects targeting a number of groups, including school-age youth. The UC Tobacco-Related Disease and Research Program External link opens in new window or tab. funds research regarding tobacco use and the treatment of diseases related to tobacco use. Competitive awards are offered for research projects conducted collaboratively by academic institutions and schools.


The TUPE program provides funding for programs in grades six through twelve through a competitive application process for tobacco-specific student instruction, reinforcement activities, special events, and intervention and cessation programs for students. All LEAs that are certified as having a fully implemented tobacco-free school district board policy are eligible to apply for funding. Programs are locally developed, but they are expected to align with the federal Principles of Effectiveness, the recommended California guidelines for tobacco prevention in the Health Framework for California Public Schools (PDF; 2MB). (Each county office of education is eligible to receive funding through the County Technical Assistance and Leadership Funds application to assist school districts within their county in program development, to provide staff development for school and district personnel, and to provide technical assistance as needed.)


The purpose of the TUPE program is to reduce youth tobacco use by helping young people make healthful tobacco-related decisions through tobacco-specific, research-validated educational instruction and activities that build knowledge as well as social skills and youth development assets. Collaboration with community-based tobacco control programs is an integral part of program planning. The school, parents, and the larger community must be involved in the program so that students will be aware of a cohesive effort and concern for their health and, consequently, their ability to succeed in school.

Principles of Effectiveness as Applied to Tobacco-Use

Having tobacco-free schools is one of our nation's highest priorities. Recipients of TUPE funds must use those funds in ways that are most likely to reduce tobacco use among youth. Recipients shall coordinate their TUPE-funded programs with other available prevention efforts to maximize the impact of all the tobacco prevention programs and resources available, and shall:

  1. In General

    1. Be based on an assessment of objective data regarding the incidence of tobacco use in the public elementary schools and secondary schools and communities to be served, including an objective analysis of the current conditions and consequences regarding tobacco use that is based on ongoing local assessment or evaluation activities;
    2. Be based on an established set of performance measures aimed at ensuring that the elementary schools and secondary schools and communities to be served by the program have tobacco-free learning environment;
    3. Be based on scientifically based research that provides evidence that the program to be used will reduce tobacco use;
    4. Include meaningful and ongoing consultation with and input from parents in the development of the application and administration of the program or activity.
  2. Periodic Evaluation
    1. REQUIREMENT-The program or activity shall undergo a periodic evaluation to assess its progress toward reducing tobacco use in schools to be served based on performance measures described above.
    2. USE OF RESULTS-The results shall be used to refine, improve, and strengthen the program, and to refine the performance measures, and shall also be made available to the public upon request, with public notice of such availability provided.


Local school programs are to be based on research that has determined the effectiveness of particular programs and instructional strategies. The CDE will provide LEAs with information about Research-Validated programs as well as research-based activities to prevent tobacco use through CDE's publication Getting Results.

The California Healthy Kids Survey External link opens in new window or tab. and the TUPE Competitive Grant Annual Reports External link opens in new window or tab. are required of all LEAs who accept TUPE funds in order to assess the health-related behavior of students in grades seven, nine, and eleven.

The California Healthy Kids Resource Center (CHKRC) External link opens in new window or tab. provides assistance to school districts and county offices of education as a source of comprehensive information about health-related research and instructional materials to support effective programs for students. Materials from the center can be borrowed at no cost. The CHKRC identifies programs for dissemination and adoption by local educational agencies and maintains a database on programs available in California.

WestEd, under contract with the CDPH, conducts a biennial, statewide evaluation of the level of implementation and effectiveness of the TUPE program. CDPH, through its Local Lead Agencies, welcomes opportunities to assist and enhance school efforts in tobacco-use prevention and cessation.

Questions:   Tobacco-Use Prevention Education Office | 916-323-1540
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, May 02, 2023