Please call 213-351-7890.

NOTE: TCPP can only address smoking violations in Los Angeles County. If the violation occurred outside of Los Angeles County you can browse our links page or contact your local health department for more information.


How do I report smoking in a restaurant, bar or other workplace?

To report smoking in an enclosed workplace (violation of the California Smoke Free Workplace Law, Labor Code section 6404.5), please contact the appropriate agency in your jurisdiction.

  • Long Beach (562) 570-8505
  • Los Angeles (888) 333-0730
  • Pasadena (626) 744-6057
  • Santa Monica (310) 458-8923
  • West Hollywood (323) 848-6516

In all other cities in Los Angeles County, as well as in unincorporated areas of the County, please call (213) 351-7890.

To report tobacco sales to persons under the age of 18 years (violation of the Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement (STAKE) Act), please call 1-800-5 ASK-4-ID.

How do I report a merchant that sells tobacco to minors?

To report tobacco sales to persons under the age of 18 years (violation of the Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement (STAKE) Act), please call 1-800-5 ASK-4-ID.

What is the law in Los Angeles regarding secondhand smoke? How does the law affect smoking in places of business, inside private residences and in outdoor areas?

California's Law for a Smoke Free Workplace (Labor Code 6404.5) is designed to protect workers from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. It states that smoking is prohibited in virtually all enclosed places of employment, with the exception of tobacco shops, private residences and outside unenclosed patio areas.

Businesses: Smoking is strictly prohibited in businesses such as restaurants, pool halls, bingo parlors, movie theaters, bowling alleys and private, social, fraternal and gaming clubs.

Inside Homes: If a person's residence is used for a medical and/or child care facility, then smoking is prohibited during the hours of operation.

Outdoors: The Smoke Free Workplace Law does not regulate smoking in outdoor areas, however, your local government or property managers may have enacted a smoke free policy. Contact your local city hall or site manager for more information.

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Tobacco Control Program provides information regarding compliance with California's Law for a Smoke Free Workplace free of charge to businesses in Los Angeles County. For more information, please contact the Tobacco Control Program at (213) 351-7890.

Where can I go if I want to quit smoking?

Many hospitals, HMOs, clinics, and health departments offer cessation programs. Free one-on-one telephone counseling provided by Kick It California is available at 1-800-300-8086. For more information about stop smoking services in a particular area of Los Angeles County, contact the Los Angeles County Tobacco Control Program at (213) 351-7890.

I want to help my teenager quit smoking. Where can I get help?

Check with the Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) Coordinator of the teenager's school for information regarding youth cessation programs. Schools are required to provide such services. If the school does not provide the needed information, contact the school district office. Free one-on-one telephone counseling provided by Kick It California is available at 1-800-300-8086. There is also a website for teens provided by Kick It California at For more information about stop smoking services in a particular area of Los Angeles County, contact the Los Angeles County Tobacco Control Program at (213) 351-7890.

What's the best way to quit smoking?

The best way to quit smoking is the method the smoker is willing to use and stick with! There are various quit methods. Cold turkey is when a person stops smoking altogether without the help of any stop smoking aids. It's the quickest way to stop smoking, but a person may experience withdrawal symptoms during the first two weeks of quitting because the body is no longer receiving nicotine. Because of this, many people start smoking again just to stop the withdrawal.

Another method to stop smoking is with nicotine replacement (the patch, gum, inhaler, and spray). The person trying to quit stops smoking but still feeds his/her body with nicotine via the patch, gum, inhaler, or spray. Gradually, the person steps down from using a higher concentrated nicotine patch (for example) to a lower concentrated nicotine patch to an even lower concentrated nicotine patch until the person is gradually weaned off of his/her need for nicotine. This method helps relieve withdrawal, but it does not eliminate it.

A "stop smoking" pill called Zyban is available by prescription only. It does not contain nicotine. This drug alters a person's brain chemistry so that the craving for nicotine is lessened to a point where the person no longer has any desire to smoke. However, it does not work for everyone. Consult your physician for more information regarding this method.

Support groups and stop smoking classes are quite helpful alone or used together with other stop smoking methods. They provide structure and emotional support with the process of becoming a nonsmoker and learning to live without tobacco. For support groups and stop smoking programs in Los Angeles County, contact the Los Angeles County Tobacco Control Program at (213) 351-7890. Also, free and confidential one-on-one counseling is available by Kick It California at 1-800-300-8086. This service is funded by tobacco taxes and is worth trying together with any other method of quitting tobacco.

Are nicotine replacement products as dangerous as smoking?

Yes and no. When a person is on nicotine replacement, there is no secondhand smoke to harm the smoker or any bystanders. However, nicotine is still an addictive drug that alters brain chemistry and adversely affects the body, particularly the heart and hormonal systems. Nicotine is still being delivered into the body during replacement therapy although the body is learning to wean itself off of it through the gradual "step down" method. However, the end justifies the means if the result is breaking free of nicotine addiction and living a happier, healthier life.

Are cigars or pipes a better alternative to cigarettes?

No! Tobacco is tobacco - no matter what form it's in. Like other forms of tobacco, cigars and pipes bring risks of lung, breast, pancreatic, prostate, colorectal, liver, and oral cancer; lung disease; stroke; and heart attack. Although the risk for lung cancer is lower among cigar smokers, the risk increases with the frequency of cigar use and depth of inhalation. In addition, smoke from cigars and pipes causes respiratory infections, headaches, and burning eyes. While cigar smokers may spend one hour smoking a single large cigar, that cigar can contain as much tobacco and can provide the same nicotine exposure as a pack of cigarettes. Cigars can contain seven times more tar and 30 times more carbon monoxide than a cigarette, depending of the cigar size.

Along with the health risks brought on by smoking cigarettes, cigar and pipe smoking bring additional threats to a person's health. Cigar and pipe smokers have increased rates of chronic cough and phlegm. Also, pipe smokers are particularly prone to cancer of the lip. Cigar and pipes use black (air-cured) tobacco, which carries a higher risk of causing esophageal cancer than the tobacco used for cigarettes. Despite claims from pipe and cigar users that say they "don't inhale," their risk of lung cancer is still four times greater than that of nonsmokers. Furthermore, cigars and pipes are a major source of secondhand smoke (or environmental tobacco smoke), which contains about 4,000 chemicals; 200 are poisons and 43 are cancer-causing.

Do nicotine replacement products, like the gum or patches, really work?

Yes and no. Nicotine replacement products do work by helping the individual wean himself/herself off of nicotine. This is done by "stepping down" from a higher concentrated gum or patch to a lower concentrated form to an even lower concentrated form until the person no longer craves the nicotine. This method should be used in conjunction with behavior modification. The individual needs to learn how to actually "live" without tobacco. The physical act of automatically reaching for tobacco in certain situations, like when a person first wakes up in the morning or on that morning work break etc., needs to be broken. Triggers like smoking directly after eating or when feeling stress need to be dealt with differently. All behaviors that make a person want to use tobacco need to be replaced with something else like taking a brisk walk, drinking water, deep breathing -- anything to keep a person from automatically turning to tobacco. Nicotine replacement used with behavior modification will increase chances to quit tobacco. Nicotine replacement alone won't be as successful.

Is chewing tobacco safe to use?

No! Tobacco is tobacco - no matter what form it's in. Contrary to advertising campaigns that would have us believe that chewing tobacco is a safer alternative to cigarettes, chewing tobacco poses serious threats to the health of its users. Chewing tobacco is leaf tobacco in a pouch or plug, which users put in between their cheeks and gums for prolonged periods of time. It contains a number of chemicals, including known carcinogens, irritants, nuclear waste, and nicotine. If one were to compare a cigarette smoker and a habitual chewing tobacco user, one would find that their blood nicotine levels are the same.

Therefore, the risk of nicotine dependency is similar to that due to cigarettes, and those trying to quit chewing tobacco experience the same nicotine withdrawal symptoms as cigarette smokers. Chewing tobacco causes increases in blood pressure and heart rate. It also causes dental problems, including cavities, gingivitis, tooth discoloration and halitosis; and can lead to irritation and a thickening of the lining of the mouth where users hold the tobacco. Chewing tobacco users have a higher risk of developing oral cancer than cigarette smokers. Kick It California provides cessation services for people who use chewing tobacco. These services include self-help materials, a referral information on other cessation programs in the caller's area, and confidential, one-on-one telephone counseling to help the caller quit. To access these services, dial 1-800-300-8086.

What are bidis? Are they dangerous?

Bidis are small, brown, hand-rolled cigarettes made primarily in India and other Southeast Asian countries. They consist of tobacco wrapped in a tendu or temburi leaf and are available in different flavors, such as strawberry, cherry, chocolate, and mango. In the U.S., the use of bidis has been growing among the urban youth. A recent study demonstrated that adolescents perceived bidis to be less expensive, easier to buy, and safer than cigarettes. However, research has shown that bidis have higher levels of carbon monoxide, nicotine, and tar than cigarettes. Also, because of the nature of the tendu leaf wrapper, bidi smokers inhale more often and more deeply, breathing in greater quantities of tar and other toxins than cigarette smokers. Those who smoke bidis are at risk for coronary heart disease; and cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, lung, esophagus, stomach, and liver.

What are the dangers of exposing adults and children to cigarette smoke?

Secondhand smoke is the smoke inhaled from the lungs of smokers and the smoke that comes from the burning end of a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. It contains about 4,000 chemicals, including nicotine, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and other cancer-causing agents. It is proven to cause cancer in humans. Among people who do not smoke, secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths, 37,000 cardiovascular deaths, and 13,000 deaths from other cancers. Secondhand smoke is particularly dangerous to children. It can increase the risk of serious respiratory disease during the first two years of a child's life. Children exposed to environmental tobacco smoke have much higher rates of lung diseases, including bronchitis and pneumonia. Furthermore, children of parents who smoke are more likely to develop asthma, have more asthma attacks, have more ear infections, and have a slower rate of growth in lung function.

What are some of the problems associated with smoking and pregnancy?

By smoking during pregnancy, women place themselves and their babies at risk for a number of serious health problems caused by tobacco. Women who smoke during pregnancy double their risk of having potentially life-threatening complications with the pregnancy. They are also 80% more likely to suffer a miscarriage than non-smoking pregnant women. In addition, the risks of having a stillborn baby or low birthweight are dramatically increased. Recent studies also suggest that smoking during pregnancy may increase the risk of preterm delivery by 30%. Other studies have suggested that regular exposure to second-hand smoke may also contribute to learning and behavioral problems, as well as birth defects, such as a cleft lip and/or cleft palate and mental retardation.

Furthermore, research suggests that babies whose mothers smoked during pregnancy are more likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), than those whose mothers did not smoke. Help is available for pregnant women who smoke and would like to quit. Kick It California, in conjunction with the Partnership for Smoke-Free Families, have developed a cessation program designed specifically for pregnant women. To access their services, dial 1-800-300-8086. Any health care providers interested in Kick It California's protocol for pregnant women should ask for Judi Mills.

Can quitting smoking improve my health or is it too late?

It is never too late to quit! Even if someone has been smoking heavily for years, quitting can result in significant health benefits almost immediately. For instance: 20 minutes after quitting, body temperature returns to normal levels. 24 hours after quitting, the chance of a heart attack decreases 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting, lung function increases up to 30%. 1 year after quitting, risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's. 10 years after quitting, the lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker's. 15 years after quitting, the risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker's. Remember that quitting smoking now is the single best thing you can do to improve your health.

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