jogging in the city

Tobacco Education & Prevention Partnership

Reducing Tobacco Use in Boulder County

Tobacco use remains the number one preventable cause of death and disease in the nation and in Boulder County. Smoking and secondhand smoke contributes to heart disease, lung cancer, emphysema, and increases the risk of pneumonia, bronchitis, and ear infections in children.

The Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership (TEPP) works to prevent tobacco-related deaths and disease in Boulder County. We work to support tobacco-free places for people to live, work, learn, and play, to prevent youth from using tobacco products and to help people quit.

TEPP Reduces Tobacco Use By

  • Preventing initiation of tobacco use among young people.
  • Developing and identifying services to help people quit tobacco use.
  • Educating and protecting people from secondhand smoke.
  • Eliminating disparities in tobacco use among diverse populations.

Quit Smoking

Athlete trailrunning in the mountains during a nice sunset. With motionblur.Quitting tobacco is hard. Whether you are interested in quitting or supporting someone else who wants to quit, there are free tools and resources available to help.

Beautiful young woman is holding breath and enjoy sunlightSecondhand smoke is a combination of the smoke emitted from the burning end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar, and the smoke exhaled from the lungs of smokers. This mixture contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including many that are toxic and about 70 that are known to cause cancer.

Health Risks

There is no safe-level of exposure to secondhand smoke; even small exposures can trigger a heart attack, an asthma attack, or a stroke.

Secondhand smoke has been classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a known cause of lung cancer in humans (Group A carcinogen). It is estimated that over 7,000 lung cancer deaths occur in U.S. adult nonsmokers as a result of secondhand smoke exposure.

Secondhand smoke is a serious health risk to children. Health effects seen in children exposed to secondhand smoke include increased risk of lower respiratory tract infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and ear infections; build-up of fluid in the middle ear; increased severity and frequency of asthma episodes; decreased lung function; and an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Learn More

Report a Complaint or Concern about Secondhand Smoke

Group of people running on the park at duskYouth Tobacco Use in Boulder County

Youth continue to use tobacco at increasing rates. More than one in five students in Boulder County high schools (22.2%) report current use of tobacco (tobacco use on at least 1 day in the prior 30 days).

Of the 14.1% of surveyed high school students who were current cigarette users, 51.6% had tried to quit smoking during the 12 months prior to the survey.

New Tobacco Products Appeal to Youth

New products are emerging every day. Youth today face an ever-expanding range of items including:

  • Little cigars, generally in packages of less than 20 and available in fruit and candy flavoring. These items often sell for less than $1.00.
  • Chewing tobacco, displayed in brightly colored shelving next to candy and other treats.
  • E-cigarettes, available in fruit and candy flavors, and often displayed next to convenience products such as chips and candy bars.

You Can Make a Difference

Despite the impact of movies, music, and TV, parents, still have the GREATEST INFLUENCE on their teens’ lives.

  • Talk directly to your child about the risks of tobacco use. If friends or relatives have died from tobacco-related illness, tell them about it.
  • Start the dialog about tobacco use at age 5 or 6 and continue through the high school years. Many kids start using tobacco by age 11, and many are addicted by age 14.
  • Know if your kids’ friends use tobacco. Talk about ways to refuse tobacco.
  • Discuss the glamorization of tobacco in the media.
  • If you use tobacco, try to quit. Meanwhile, don’t use tobacco in your children’s presence, don’t offer it to them, and don’t leave it where they can easily get it.
  • Let your friends and family know that you don’t want them to expose your children to secondhand smoke. Help your child practice asking adults to not smoke in cars, especially when kids are present.
    • For example, suggest that they say, “Thanks for giving me a ride home from soccer practice. My mom and I have talked about smoking, and it would be great if you could not smoke in the car with me.”

Learn More

Electronic cigarettes (i.e. e-cigarettes, or e-cigs) look similar to cigarettes in shape and size but contain a battery-operated heating device that vaporizes a nicotine-containing solution, creating a mist that is then inhaled. The tips often have an indicator light, designed to emulate the burning ash of a traditional cigarette. They may be either disposable or refillable.

Using an e-cigarette is commonly referred to as “vaping.” Products come in kid-friendly flavors, such as chocolate, strawberry, mint, and piña colada.

Learn more about e-cigarettes and vaping

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, with more than 41,000 of these deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke. In addition, smoking-related illness in the United States costs more than $300 billion a year, including nearly $170 billion in direct medical care for adults and $156 billion in lost productivity.

About one in ten Boulder County residents still smoke. While this is lower than the national average, tobacco use is still a public health issue for our community.

Learn more about how tobacco impacts health.

Tobacco is one of ten “winnable battles” identified by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Contact Us

Tobacco Education & Prevention Program (TEPP)

Main: 303-413-7567
Submit a question


3482 Broadway
Map & Directions
Hours: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F