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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: To reduce tobacco-related illness, expenses, litigation, fires, and environmental degradation in prisons with their highly vulnerable inmate and employee populations.
Methods: Data on prevalence, morbidity, mortality, health costs, litigation and facilities' maintenance costs related to tobacco in California prisons was gathered. Coalitions of physicians groups, correctional organizations, health voluntaries and inmates were built. A public information and earned media campaign was generated, press conferences held, politicians lobbied, and committee testimony given. A senior legislator and cancer survivor carried our bill which was originally only to seek preclusion of use among inmates,but was later salubriously amended to include no tobacco possession by any person on state prison property.
Results: This strong and comprehensive bill passed the legislature with bipartisan support, was signed by our notorious stogie-smoking governor, and no problems are reported at 6 months since it has been in effect. Inmates, employees, and families of both groups love it. Interest in cessation for employees via their health plans and the California Smoker's Helpline has increased. Minority populations are greatly benefitted. One-year data on the above objectives will be presented. It's all good!