Governor Jerry Brown appoints Placer County Public Health Officer to tobacco committee

Published on December 22, 2015

Placer County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Oldham has been appointed to California’s Tobacco Education and Research Oversight Committee. The legislatively-mandated advisory committee is charged with overseeing the use of Proposition 99 tax revenue for tobacco control and prevention education and for tobacco-related research.

Oldham, along with 12 other advisory members, will provide advice to the California Department of Public Health, the University of California and the State Department of Education regarding policy development, integration, and evaluation of tobacco education programs. TEROC is also responsible for the development of a master plan for the future implementation of tobacco control.

“It’s a privilege to be able to contribute to a state-wide plan for tobacco control and prevention.  While smoking rates have decreased over time, there is still much work to be done at both the local and state level,” said Oldham. “The tobacco industry continues to release new emerging products, specifically the electronic cigarette, and these products threaten to renormalize the act of smoking or vaping. I’m committed to strengthening all types of tobacco control efforts through this new appointment."

While Placer County has one of the lowest adult smoking rates (8.4 percent) in California, smoking is still a very important issue and hard work continues.

Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing more than 480,000 deaths each year, not to mention other serious health risks such as cardiovascular and respiratory disease, to name a few.

Tobacco consumption puts the public’s health at risk, too. Secondhand smoke and cigarette butt litter poisons the air, ground and water with over 7,000 toxic chemicals, at least 70 of which are cancer-causing.

Quitting can significantly reduce your risk for early disease and death. A smoker’s heart rate and blood pressure drops immediately after quitting, lung function increases within a few weeks and the risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half after only one year.  No matter how long someone has smoked, it is never too late to stop.

If you are interested quitting smoking or learning more about tobacco prevention and tobacco control efforts in Placer County, please join the Tobacco Prevention Coalition by emailing Sarah Hagen.