Public health agency for Snohomish County
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Tobacco Prevention & Control
The Tobacco Prevention and Control (TPC) Program of Snohomish Health District mission is: To provide information, education, resources, policy and technical support to Snohomish County communities and partners in order to build capacity change regarding tobacco use and exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke. This mission includes all forms of smoked and smokeless tobacco cessation, exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke, and youth prevention. Snohomish Health District is mandated to enforce the Smoking in Public Places Law (RCW 70.160 revised Clean Indoor Air Act) in partnership with city/county government and local law enforcement. The Health District also monitors and enforces youth retail tobacco sales laws in partnership with the WA State Liquor Control Board.

Hookah a Dangerous Trend
Hookah tobacco smoking is a rising trend among young smokers throughout the United States. The Snohomish Health District is charged with enforcing the state Smoking in Public Places law (RCW 70.160), which was approved by voters in 2005. All places that are open to the public or that have employees are prohibited from allowing smoking of any kind. Hookah smoke is just as harmful as cigarette smoke, full of toxins known to cause lung disease, cancer, and heart disease.

In February 2013, the Snohomish County Superior Court ruled that an Everett hookah lounge had intentionally and repeatedly violated the law.
I want to quit smoking! How can I be successful?
Tobacco Cessation
Call the Washington State TOBACCO QUIT LINE at 1.800.QUITNOW
The Tobacco Quit Line is free, available to anyone who needs it, and most importantly, it works. The Quit Line provides each caller with individual support, including advice on creating a customized plan. Some callers may qualify for free nicotine patches or gum.
Quit Line Information
Spanish Line
Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing
Quit Line website
: 1.800-QUIT.NOW
: 1.877.2-NO.FUME
: 1.877.777.6534
Tobacco use continues to be the nation's number one cause of preventable death, killing more people every year than AIDS, alcohol, drugs, murders, suicides, car crashes, and fires combined. Of all Americans who smoke regularly, 70 percent (men, women, and children) want to quit.
Policy Change and Adult Cessation:
Children learn how to behave by example. When policies are in place restricting smoking in public places such as restaurants, malls, parks and playgrounds, tobacco use becomes the perceived exception rather than the rule in adult behavior. Children observe and mimic the behavior of adults around them from a very young age.
One of the most significant factors influencing whether a child will experiment with and become addicted to tobacco is whether or not a parent or caretaker in the home smokes. By helping adults to quit tobacco, it helps to prevent children and youth from becoming tobacco users.
Other Tobacco Cessation Resources:
Government Sites:
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  web
  2. National Cancer Institute  web
  3. Surgeon General  web
  4. Washington State Department of Health Quit Line  web
Public Health Sites:
  1. American Cancer Society  web
  2. American Heart Association  web
  3. American Legacy Foundation - Become an Ex  web
  4. American Lung Association  web
  5.  web
  6. National Tobacco Cessation Collaborative  web
  7. North American Quit Line Consortium  web
  8. Smoking Cessation Leadership Center  web
  9. Tobacco Cessation Leadership Network  web
I want to know more about youth and smoking or chewing tobacco
Youth Tobacco Prevention
Tobacco use, the nation’s number one cause of preventable death, can be considered a childhood-onset disease. One-half of all teens who smoke start by the age of 14 and 10% start between the ages of 9 and 10. Over 90% of people who smoke started prior to age 18.
Sub-sections of our culture continue to support the view that tobacco use is cool, sophisticated and an acceptable way to rebel. Mainstream media often supports tobacco use as a cultural norm by portraying smoking and tobacco use in film and on the internet.
Forty five children in the state of Washington start using tobacco every day, and one-third of them will eventually die from it. The Tobacco Prevention and Control Program staff at Snohomish Health District works to prevent youth tobacco initiation in the following ways:
Retailer Education:
Tobacco Prevention and Control Program staff work with state and local partners to educate businesses which hold a tobacco retail license. This effort is done during compliance checks as well as through mailings, media campaigns, and one-on-one educational sessions with management of local tobacco retail establishments.
Other resources for youth prevention:
  1. Ending Nicotine Dependence (E.N.D.)  web
    END is an eight-module tobacco cessation and reduction curriculum specifically designed for youth. The Utah Department of Health, Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program designed this curriculum
  2. Teens Against Tobacco Use (T.A.T.U.)  web
    TATU is a peer education program provided by the American Lung Association of Washington (ALAW). Middle and high school students are trained in media literacy, tobacco and health advocacy, and presentation skills, enabling them to discuss issues with their peers and younger students
For and about Youth:
Get The Facts:
  1. American Cancer Society  web
  2. American Legacy Foundation  web
  3. American Lung Association of Washington  web
  4. Center for Disease Control  web
  5. National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Information Service  web
  6. National Center for Tobacco Free Kids  web
  7. No Tobacco  web
  8. The Truth Campaign  web
  9. Through with Chew  web
  10. Tobacco Facts  web
  11. Washington State Department of Health  web
  12. World Health Organization  web
Youth Action:
  1. Advocates Limiting Exposure to Retail Tobacco  web
  2. Kick Butts Day  web
  1. Reject All Tobacco (RAT)  web
  2. The ‘Badvertising’ Institute  web
Young Adults & Minority Population:
  1. Americans for Non Smoker’s Rights  web
  2. CDC en Español  web
  3. CSAT  web
  4. Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Work Force  web
  5. The Bacchus Network  web
  6. Tobacco Free Kids  web
  7. Tobacco Scam  web
How do I report a violation of the Smoking in Public Places Law?
Enforcement of Washington's Smoking in Public Places Law (RCW 70.160)
The Health District’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Program is the enforcement agent in Snohomish County for implementing Washington's Smoking in Public Places Law. In November 2005, Washington voters passed Initiative 901 by 63%, passing in every county in Washington.
This comprehensive measure to protect workers and the public from the devastating health effects of secondhand smoke went into effect on December 8, 2005, and applies to ALL Washington workplaces (including bars, taverns, restaurants, bowling alleys and truck stops) and public spaces. In addition, smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of all doorways, entryways, windows that open, and ventilation intakes of public places and workplaces.
Report Violation of RCW 70.160:
How to report to the Snohomish Health District:
  1. Download and fill out this form: Violation of RCW 70.160 Form
  2. Attach the completed form and email it to
  3. OR fax the completed form to 425.339.8726
  4. OR mail the completed form to:
    Snohomish Health District
    Tobacco Prevention and Control
    3020 Rucker Avenue, Suite 206
    Everett, WA 98201-3900
  5. OR call the Snohomish County Tobacco Resource Line 425.339.5237 and leave us a message.
Additional Information for RCW 70.160:
  1. Brochure for Business Owners  file
    Understanding Washington State's Clean Indoor Air Law For Business Owners and operators
  2. Facts Regarding Tobacco Use In Business  file
    List of Facts Regarding Tobacco Use In Business
  3. Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ  file
    Frequently Asked Questions about Washington Smoke Free Law (I-901)
  4. Smoking in Public Places law (text of); also known as I-901 [or] 70.190 RCW  web
    Smoking in Public Places law (text of); also known as I-901 [or] 70.190 RCW
  5. Tips for Successful Implementation  file
    Tips for Successful Implementation of Washington Smoke Free Law (I-901)
How do I apply to reduce the allowed distance of smoking from doors at my business?
Rebuttal procedure of the 25 foot rule (RCW 70.160)

The law allows for businesses to rebut the assumption that it is necessary to prohibit smoking within 25 feet of entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes for your establishment. In order to do so, the business must meet established criteria including verifiable evidence that smoke will not enter the establishment if the distance is reduced. Please follow the Rebuttal Procedure below.

Rebuttal Procedure:
  1. Review the Criteria Sheet (part of the Rebuttal Application Form) to ensure that you meet the minimum qualifications
  2. Download and fill out the Rebuttal Application Form
  3. Print and enclose the application form, completely filled out and including supporting documentation, along with your check for $105 made out to 'Snohomish Health District'. Mail to:
    Snohomish Health District
    Tobacco Prevention and Control
    3020 Rucker Avenue, Suite 206
    Everett, WA 98201-3900
What can I do about the secondhand cigarette smoke I am breathing?
Secondhand Tobacco Smoke Information and Resources
Secondhand tobacco smoke (SHTS) is a mix of smoke coming from the end of a burning tobacco product and smoke exhaled by smokers. This complex mixture has more than 4,000 chemicals, 50 of which are known to be probable carcinogens (human cancer-causing agents).
In 2005, the California Air Resources Board identified Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a toxic air contaminant for which there is no safe level of exposure. People exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke are more likely to develop a host of preventable diseases including lung cancer, coronary heart disease, and breast cancer, especially in younger, primarily premenopausal women. The Tobacco Prevention and Control Program staff at the Health District works to reduce or eliminate exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke from indoor and outdoor public places in the following ways:
Choosing Smoke-Free Housing:
Washington residents are protected from secondhand tobacco smoke in all workplaces and public places, but many people who live in rental or condo multi-unit housing are distressed to come home to find they are breathing uninvited secondhand smoke in their own homes. There are things that you can do. Click here to download the “Choose Smoke-free Housing” pages or here to download the booklet in booklet form. This will be a starting place for ideas of how to make your home smoke-free. Everyone should be able to breathe smoke-free air where they work and live!
Tobacco-free Parks:
The tobacco-free parks project began in 2001 as a joint effort between local communities and Snohomish Health District. Fourteen communities in Snohomish County, as well as Snohomish County Parks and Recreation have adopted resolutions declaring their park facilities to be "tobacco-free for our kids." The campaign educates community members about the harmful effects of secondhand tobacco smoke and provides a healthier outdoor environment. When kids see a park free of tobacco use, they are more likely to recognize this as the norm.
For further information about how to implement tobacco-free parks in your community, call 425.339.5279 or send an e-mail to
Policy Education:
Our goal is to create public policy change in order to reduce and/or eliminate exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke. The Tobacco Prevention and Control Program educates policy makers and elected officials about the science behind secondhand tobacco smoke.
A past campaign for veterinarians and pet groomers provided information about the dangers of secondhand tobacco smoke to pets as well as people.
Other resources about secondhand tobacco smoke:
  1. Help keep Washington smoke-free!  file
    SHD Poster
  2. Keep your pets safe! Protect them from secondhand smoke.  file
    SHD Poster
  3. National Center for Chronic disease Prevention and Health Promotion  web
    Information about Smoking and Tobacco Use
  4. Smoke Free Washington  web
    Resources you need to protect yourself and your loved ones from the toxic effects of secondhand smoke
  5. Washington Department of Health  web
    Washington Department of Health Tobacco Prevention And Control Program
How can I partner with the SHD Tobacco Prevention Program?
Community Collaboration, Mobilization and Engagement
In Snohomish County, the Health District works with many medical providers, social service agencies and education partners to focus on priority populations such as people living in poverty, minority groups, people with mental health or chemical dependency issues, and others with known rates of high tobacco use (compared to the general population).
The goal is to ensure that providers, particularly those working with these priority populations, have the tools and capacity to best help those clients or patients ready to quit tobacco. We work to raise awareness of local tobacco prevention and cessation efforts and to build sustainable change at the local level. This is done by providing outreach and training to community leaders and policy-makers, promoting technical assistance and information regarding best practices and policy change to community organizations and businesses, and providing educational information to the public via local news sources and on this website. We promote public discussion among partners, decision makers, and stakeholders about tobacco-related health outcomes and the burden of resulting chronic disease on our community. The Tobacco Prevention and Control Program welcomes the input and involvement of community members and organizations.
Trained adult volunteers are needed to assist with educating retailers about tobacco sales laws to minors. Teams of volunteers may focus on one or more communities providing resource packets to businesses licensed to sell tobacco products. Having friendly community volunteers stop by with information reminding businesses about minor sales laws is one effective strategy in helping to reduce access of tobacco to children under 18 years old.
For more information, please call 425.339.8631.

Last Reviewed and updated 3/13/2013