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Tobacco Use Prevention Education

Tobacco-Use Prevention Education (TUPE)


The Tobacco-Use Prevention Education (TUPE) program provides funding for programs in grades six through twelve through a competitive application process for tobacco-specific student instruction, reinforcement activities, special events, and intervention and cessation programs for students. All LEAs that are certified as having a fully implemented tobacco-free school district board policy are eligible to apply for funding. Programs are locally developed, but they are expected to align with the federal Principles of Effectiveness, the recommended California guidelines for tobacco prevention in the Health Framework for California Public Schools (PDF; 2MB). (Each county office of education is eligible to receive funding through the County Technical Assistance and Leadership Funds application to assist school districts within their county in program development, to provide staff development for school and district personnel, and to provide technical assistance as needed.)


The purpose of the TUPE program is to reduce youth tobacco use by helping young people make healthful tobacco-related decisions through tobacco-specific, research-validated educational instruction and activities that build knowledge as well as social skills and youth development assets. Collaboration with community-based tobacco control programs is an integral part of program planning. The school, parents, and the larger community must be involved in the program so that students will be aware of a cohesive effort and concern for their health and, consequently, their ability to succeed in school.


Please review additional information about the TUPE Recommended Evidence-Based Curriculum by visiting the links below:

CATCH My BreathKeepin' It Real

Tobacco-Free School Districts & Grant Funding

A tobacco-free school prohibits all tobacco use anytime, anywhere by anyone on all school property, and at all school-sponsored events (California Health and Safety Code Section 104420 [n][2]). School property includes buildings, grounds and vehicles owned or leased by the school. School-sponsored events include sporting events, school dances and other events held on and off school property. The goal of the CDE's tobacco-free school district certification process is to protect our children's health by encouraging all school districts and county offices of education (COEs) in California to adopt a model 100 percent tobacco-free policy. CDE staff works closely with the California Department of Public Health’s California Tobacco Control Program to promote smoke-free environments and tobacco-free lifestyles throughout the state, particularly among California youth. School districts are certified by the COE in which the district resides as meeting the requirements of California Health and Safety Code. COE's are certified by the CDE’s Tobacco-Use Prevention Education Office.

The California Department of Education receives TUPE funding from state excise taxes on tobacco products, per Proposition 99 and Proposition 56, that are disseminated via grants. The amount of available funds can fluctuate, depending on the sales of tobacco products. County Offices of Education (COEs) and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) receiving TUPE funding are typically awarded in proportion to their Average Daily Attendance (ADA). TUPE funds are intended to serve students in grades 6-12, their families, and the staff at their school sites.


TUPE uses a tiered social-ecological model to assess how environmental and interpersonal factors can encourage or deter tobacco use and vaping among youth. Each level of the model identifies a point of influence and a potential opportunity for intervention.

  1. ​​The Individual level examines how factors such as attitudes and knowledge may increase or decrease the likelihood of tobacco use and vaping.
  2. The Interpersonal level examines the role of peers, family, partners, and mentors.
  3. The School and Community level explores how behavior is impacted by teachers and the social and physical characteristics of institutions, environmental settings, media, and advertising.
  4. The Policy level looks at the broader implications of laws, rules, and enforcement measures.

The Social-Ecological Model demonstrates that behavior is the result of the knowledge, values, and attitudes of individuals as well as social influences, including the people with whom they associate, the organizations to which they belong, and the communities in which they live.