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County of Sonoma California

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Breathe Easy Sonoma County

The Department of Health Services (DHS) strives to promote the health and wellbeing of all residents in Sonoma County. As outlined in the recent A Portrait of Sonoma County one key recommendation was to reduce smoking in the County. A decrease in smoking would help meet the County's Health Action goals to promote healthier habits for our youth and community.

Overall, DHS provides prevention services and coordinates tobacco control activities with our community partners and allies to create a healthier community. Specifically, DHS:

  • Plans, implements, and evaluates innovative public health policies including healthy retail certification and tobacco retail licensing
  • Staffs the Coalition for a Tobacco-free Sonoma County to promote community health education efforts
  • Provides resources for cessation programs
  • Gives technical assistance to local governments
  • Works to prevent minors from acquiring tobacco products
  • Educates businesses and providers on smoke-free policies
  • Trains youth leaders in our community to promote tobacco control activities
  • Collaborates with Tobacco-Use Prevention and Education (TUPE) schools to prevent youth tobacco/nicotine use

The Burden of Smoking in Sonoma County

In Sonoma County,

  • Tobacco use is a leading cause of death in Sonoma County.
  • There are approximately 570 smoking-attributable deaths each year. These smoking-attributable deaths represent 15% of total annual deaths (2008-12 annual average).
  • The estimated adult smoking prevalence is 14% (2011-12 data).
  • An estimated 69% of eleventh graders reported that it was "fairly easy" or "very easy" for eleventh graders to get cigarettes if they really wanted them (2013-14 data).
  • An estimated 18% of adults have ever been diagnosed with asthma (2011-12 data).
  • The total estimated cost of smoking was $277.7 million in 2009. This estimate includes direct healthcare costs and indirect costs from lost productivity due to illness and premature deaths.

View the supporting data >>

Related Links

American Lung Association

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Office on Smoking and Health

Smoking Prevalence Data


If you'd like more information, please complete our online Ask the Tobacco Education Coordinator form or contact our office at (707) 565-6680.

The Department of Health Services responds to complaints and provides technical assistance to the community on a wide variety of tobacco control related issues including violations of worksite no-smoking laws and illegal sales of tobacco to minors.

For more information about tobacco control laws, or to report a tobacco related violation, contact us at (707) 565-6680.

What's New

Marijuana and Tobacco Use Fact Sheet
Source: California Department of Public Health.

Webpage link
Video: Building on Community Assets - Healthy Retail
Source: KRCB and the Center for Wellbeing.

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For Tobacco Retailers

The Sonoma County Tobacco Retail License Ordinance
Includes full text of the new county ordinanace, FAQ, retailer license application form.

New Landmark California Tobacco 21 Law
Beginning June 9, 2016, a new law signed by Governor Jerry Brown, goes into effect raising the minimum age of sale for tobacco products from 18 to 21, except for active duty military personnel in the U.S. Armed Forces. Please note that electronic smoking devices (e.g., e-cigarettes, e-hookah) are included in the definition of tobacco products.

June 6, 2016 Letter to Retailers: New State Tobacco Laws
Source: California Department of Public Health.

Application Form: Tobacco Retailer License
Notification Packet: Tobacco Retailer License (pdf)
posted May 26, 2016

Which Ordinance Applies to My Business?

To find out if the county tobacco retail license ordinance applies to your business, use the link below to enter your business address in the form.

Which Ordinance Applies to My Business?

The first line will show that your business is in the "County of Sonoma" and the sixth line down will show if your business is in one of the cities or in "Unincorporated Sonoma County."

The proposed tobacco retailer license only applies to tobacco retailers in unincorporated Sonoma County.


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