Tobacco Prevention Services

Tobacco use can lead to nicotine dependence and serious health problems, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. Tobacco dependence is a chronic disease that often requires repeated intervention and numerous quit attempts. HPC addresses tobacco use in Southeastern Pennsylvania through tobacco cessation services, youth tobacco prevention, tobacco-free policy implementation, and enforcement and merchant education around youth tobacco sale laws and point of sale tobacco advertising.

Tobacco Prevention Services

The SEPA Tobacco Control Project (SEPA TCP) reduces tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke among disparately impacted populations in Southeastern Pennsylvania; conducts tobacco dependence treatment (TDT); educates and empowers youth advocates; supports community partners to implement tobacco-free policies; and ensures compliance with youth tobacco sale laws.

Tobacco Sale Law Education: We provide in-person and virtual educational sessions to ensure that tobacco merchants follow all local, state, and federal youth tobacco sale laws. Education and informative materials are offered in Chinese, English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Korean. The program is offered in partnership with the Philadelphia Office of Addiction Services and Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

Tobacco Compliance Checks: We are responsible for conducting tobacco compliance checks in Philadelphia for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and the 7 counties in the Southeast Pennsylvania health district (Bucks, Berks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery, and Schuylkill). 
Tobacco compliance checks are conducted by adult and youth (15-20) teams. Both parties enter a tobacco retail establishment where the youth attempts to purchase a tobacco product. The youth is trained to not lie or attempt to deceive the clerks in any way as they attempt to purchase the tobacco product. If they are asked for their age, they provide their correct age. If they are asked for identification, the youth either provides their actual ID or states that they do not have it. The adult participant is there to witness the transaction. All data from the compliance check is collected and reported to state and local authorities. Any violations of the youth tobacco sales laws are subject to fines.