Field Placement: Los Angeles County
Department of Health Services, Tobacco Control and Prevention Program (TCPP)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Preceptor: Montgomery Messex, MPH
Student Name: Anne Duncan
LA County Tobacco Control and Policy Campaigns
Los Angeles County Department of Health Services’ Tobacco Control and Prevention Program (TCPP) is the largest Prop 99-funded local lead agency in California in terms of size and funding. Its mission is to reduce tobacco-related death, disease, and disability in Los Angeles County. To this end, TCPP works closely with community-based organizations and coalitions, health advocates and other health providers to provide tobacco prevention, education, policy, cessation, and media services.
Since it’s inception in 1989, TCPP has found that a comprehensive approach designed to change social norms is more effective in reducing tobacco use than focusing on individual smoking behavior. TCPP’s primary avenue for achieving this social norm change is through enactment of tobacco control policies such as smoke-free housing, strong tobacco retail licensing, and smoke-free beaches and parks. To achieve this goal, TCPP contracts with community organizations to utilize a phase-based policy campaign model for implementing these initiatives throughout Los Angeles County. The five phases of the model consist of: 1) Community Assessment; 2) Policy Campaign Strategy; 3) Coalition Building/Broadening; 4) Policy Campaign Implementation; and 5) Policy Campaign Evaluation.
My internship with TCPP’s Policy Analysis Unit, spanning from June 20, 2005 to September 16, 2005, coincided with the beginning of the 2005-2006 contract period. Under the supervision of the Policy Analysis Unit Chief Montgomery Messex, I provide information and technical assistance to TCPP’s contractors during the Community Assessment and the Policy Campaign Strategy phases of the phase-based policy campaign model. This information included city government matrixes, local tobacco control ordinance summaries, and fact sheets for decision maker kits. I also provided additional support during meetings and trainings.
In addition to providing assistance to the contractors, I also attended various tobacco control coalition and city council meetings, which exposed me to policy campaigns outside of LA County’s contracts. Through these events, I observed the processes of coalition building and policy campaign implementation. I even witnessed the passing of an amendment to the tobacco retail licensing ordinance at a Los Angeles City Council meeting.
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