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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Pennsylvania Profile: A review of Pennsylvania's tobacco prevention and control program


The tobacco control program in Pennsylvania was well established due to adequate funding, political support from previous Administrations, and dedicated tobacco control professionals across the state. The passage of Act 77 of 2001, allocating all the Master Settlement monies to health initiatives, including tobacco control, provided the foundation to establish a comprehensive program. Tobacco control advocates used the CDC’s Best Practices guidelines to model their program and have developed a statewide monitoring system to track program progress. The program does face several challenges including the uncertainty of future funding due to the state’s budget crisis, a change in administration, and preemption. The significant progress the program has attained should serve as an indicator of the potential successes it will be able to achieve if a supportive environment is maintained.

Partners identified the following strengths and challenges of Pennsylvania’s tobacco control program:

• The dedication of the DOH TPC staff and their management of the program were strengths of the program.

• The allocation of adequate funding for Pennsylvania’s tobacco control program was a major strength. However, partners felt that the short time the program had been in place was a challenge.

• The slow DOH approval process caused delays in implementation of tobacco control activities.

• Preemption in the clean indoor air and youth access laws prohibited Pennsylvania from enacting strong tobacco control legislation.

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