Tobacco Education Coalition (TEC)

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Reduce youth access to tobacco
by limiting the sale of
flavored tobacco products

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Hold Big Tobacco
responsible for their
toxic tobacco waste


Are you concerned about new tobacco products
like nicotine pouches?



Tired of seeing cigarette butts everywhere you look?


Worried about tobacco companies targeting our children
with their deadly, addictive products?


You've Come to the Right Place!

The Santa Cruz County Tobacco Education Coalition (TEC) is a community group that advocates for a tobacco-free lifestyle and environment. The Coalition was formed in 1985 and is staffed by the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency. The Coalition is open to all community members and currently includes parents, youth advocates, environmentalists, health professionals, and others who want to live in a tobacco and smoke-free community. Together, we are working to:

  • Educate about the dangers of tobacco, tobacco waste and second-hand smoke.
  • Reduce youth access to tobacco.
  • Advocate for non-smokers rights.
  • Collaborate with local policy makers to pass tobacco-related policies.
  • Maintain compliance with smoke-free workplace laws.
  • Train and Engage diverse members of the Santa Cruz community to participate in tobacco control activities.
The Coalition has made lasting changes in Santa Cruz County. Between 2018 and 2022, we worked with all five jurisdictions to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products including e-cigarettes. Since 2021, we've  worked with all five jurisdictions to pass resolutions recognizing tobacco waste as a public health and environmental threat. Prior to that, we worked with local elected officials to pass tobacco retail license (TRL) ordinances in the five jurisdictions in Santa Cruz County. Beginning in 2022, we have added a new area of focus, pursuing equal protections throughout the County against secondhand smoke in outdoor dining establishments. 


Get Involved!

Meet other people who are concerned about tobacco issues. Share information and resources. Make a difference in our community. Join the Coalition!

Click here to view the TEC Member Handbook.

The Coalition meets every other month on the third Wednesday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Call 454-4648 for more information. 

2024 Coalition Meeting Dates

  • January 17 virtually
  • March 20 virtually
  • May 15 in person at PVPSA in Watsonville
  • July 17 virtually
  • September 18 virtually
  • November 20 in person at the Emeline Campus in Santa Cruz

Tobacco Resources


Scotts Valley Passes a TPW Resolution

On April 3, the Scotts Valley City Council passed a Resolution Recognizing Tobacco Product Waste as a Public Health and Environmental Threat, becoming the fifth and final jurisdiction in Santa Cruz County to do so. We are excited by this growing regional collaboration!

Capitola Passes a TPW Resolution

On October 12, 2023 the Capitola City Council passed a Resolution Recognizing Tobacco Product Waste as a Public Health and Environmental Threat.

Board of Supervisors Passes a TPW Resolution

At their May 16, 2023 meeting, the Supervisors passed a Resolution Recognizing Tobacco Product Waste as a Public Health and Environmental Threat. The supervisors resolved to bring forth policy approaches to address this waste by January of 2025.  

State-wide Flavored Tobacco Sales Ban Passes

On November 8, 2022, California Voters upheld Sentate Bill 793, prohibiting retailers from selling most flavored tobacco products. For more information, visit the California Department of Public Health website. 

Scotts Valley Bans Flavored Tobacco Sales

On June 15, 2022 the Scotts Valley City Council banned the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol. Now all five jurisdictions in Santa Cruz County have equal protections against the sale of these products. Scotts Valley also banned smoking in outdoor dining establishments. 

Santa Cruz and Watsonville Pass Tobacco Waste Resolutions!

In 2021, both the Santa Cruz and Watsonville city councils passed resolutions recognizing Tobacco Waste as a Public Health and Environmental Threat. The Councils resolved to "advance policy approaches to reduce or eliminate this toxic waste in our community."  


TEC Mission Statement

The Santa Cruz County Tobacco Education Coalition (TEC) is committed to promoting and advocating a tobacco-free lifestyle and environment at the local, state, and national levels. We empower our communities to effect individual and social change through education, advocacy, collaboration, and coordination of resources.  The Coalition recognizes individual rights and cultural traditions, while encouraging community responsibility and involvement.



Report Smoking Violations
(831) 454-4319

If you want to make a complaint about a smoking violation inside a building, call (831) 454-4319 or fill out this electronic form.

Breathe California also maintains a secondhand smoke helpline for Santa Cruz County residents. Call (408) 999-0500.

Tobacco Retail Licenses (TRL)
Looking for information about how to obtain a Tobacco Retailer’s License? Click here.


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