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Press Release

Latinos Can Learn why Tobacco Laws are Important to Their Community

October 1, 2003

The Latino community is being targeted by the tobacco industry and Contra Costa residents can now learn about laws in their county that were made to protect them and their families.

Contra Costa Television, (CCTV) and Contra Costa Health Services have produced ¡Vida Sana en Vivo!, a 30-minute Spanish language talk show that will focus on the importance of tobacco laws. Guest on the show will be Marisol Romero, Policy Specialist for the Hispanic/Latino Tobacco Education Network. The show, which can be seen on CCTV, is scheduled to air October 16 at 3:30 p.m., October 17 at 5 p.m., October 23 at 3:30 p.m. and October 24 at 5 p.m.

"Tobacco kills. This is why the tobacco industry needs to recruit new smokers yearly. The Latino Community is a likely target because of the youthfulness of the Latino population and the projected growth of the population in Contra Costa County," said Denice Dennis, Project Manager of Contra Costa Health Service's Tobacco Prevention Project.

According to Dennis, most smokers will begin smoking before the age of 18 but there are several very important laws that help protect youth and families from tobacco. "In most of the county, the Tobacco-Free-Youth-Ordinance requires merchants to keep tobacco products locked and out of reach of customers. There is also a law that makes it illegal to sell tobacco product to those under 18 years of age. On the show we will explain why these laws are important and how they have helped decrease sales to minors," said Dennis.

Second-hand smoke is another serious problem that can affect health and although most Californians are protected by no-smoking-in-workplaces laws, many Latinos are not being protected by these laws.

"No one wants to go to work and inhale lethal chemicals, yet this is what happens every day with a large number of Latinos. For the most part the hotel industry is exempt from most smoke free workplace laws, and this leaves many workers at risk for serious health diseases," said Dennis.

¡Vida Sana En Vivo! can be seen on Contra Costa Television, the county's public access cable TV station on Thursdays at 3:30 p.m. and Fridays at 5 p.m. (In the Danville/Blackhawk area, channel 10; in Clayton and Concord, channel 15 and 18; in Oakley and Bethel Island, Martinez, Moraga, Orinda, Pacheco, Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek, channel 19; in Antioch, Bay Point, Pittsburg, San Ramon, Concord, Crockett, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Hercules, Pinole, Richmond, Rodeo, and San Pablo, channel 27. With Astound Cable, channel 32.)

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Press Contact
  • Denice Dennis
  • 925-313-6825