Tobacco-Use Prevention Program (TUPE)


The Hemet Unified School District's Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE)  program is funded through a grant from the California Department of Education to provide tobacco-specific student instruction, reinforcement activities, special events, and cessation programs for students. The Hemet Unified School District is certified by the State of California as having a fully implemented tobacco-free school district board policy. 


The purpose of the TUPE program is to reduce youth tobacco use by helping young people make healthful tobacco-related decisions through tobacco-specific 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.

Preventing tobacco use is an effective weapon in combating four of the five leading causes of death in California: heart disease, cancer, chronic obstructive lung disease, and fires caused by smoking.

The Hemet Unified School District provides evidence-based tobacco prevention education through general health instruction at the elementary level, in grades 6-9 through the Life Skills Training program, and intervention services for current tobacco users through Teen Intervene at the middle and high school levels, and Project N-O-T at the high school level. 

Tobacco Use in the USA
• High school students who are current (past month) smokers: 10.8% [Boys: 11.8% Girls: 9.7%]; over 1.8 million
• High school males who are current cigar smokers: 14.0%
• High school students who are current e-cigarette users: 16.0%
• Kids (under 18) who try smoking for the first time each day: 2,500+
• Kids (under 18) who become new regular, daily smokers each day: 580
• Kids (3-11) exposed to secondhand smoke: 40.6% [Black: 67.9% White: 37.2%]
• Packs of cigarettes consumed by kids each year: approx. 540 million (nearly $1.2 billion per year in sales revenue)
• Adults in the USA who are current smokers: 15.1% [Men: 16.7% Women: 13.6%]; approx. 40 million

Deaths & Disease in the USA from Tobacco Use
• People who die each year from cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke: approx. 480,000+
• Kids under 18 alive today who will ultimately die from smoking (unless smoking rates decline): 5.6 million
• People in the USA who currently suffer from smoking-caused illness: 16 million+
Smoking kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined, with thousands more dying from spit tobacco use. Of all the kids who become new smokers each year, almost a third will ultimately die from it. In addition, smokers lose a decade of life because of their smoking. For every person who dies from smoking, at least 30 more are suffering from serious smoking-caused disease and disability.

Tobacco-Related Monetary Costs in the USA
• Total annual public and private health care expenditures caused by smoking: approx. $170 billion
Annual Federal and state government smoking-caused Medicaid payments: $39.6 billion, [Federal share: $22.5 billion per year. States’ share: $17.1 billion]
Federal government smoking-caused Medicare expenditures each year: $45.0 billion
Other federal government tobacco-caused health care costs (e.g. through VA health care): $23.8 billion
• Annual health care expenditures solely from secondhand smoke exposure: $6.03 billion, Not included above are costs from smokeless or spit tobacco use or pipe/cigar smoking.
• Productivity losses caused by smoking each year: $151 billion [Only includes costs from productive work lives shortened by smoking-caused death. Not included: costs from smoking-caused disability during work lives, smoking-caused sick days, or smoking-caused productivity declines when on the job.]
Other non-health care costs from tobacco use include residential and commercial property losses from smoking-caused fires, tobacco related cleaning & maintenance, and expenditures through Social Security Survivors Insurance for kids who have lost at least one parent from a smoking-caused death.
• Taxpayers yearly fed/state tax burden from smoking-caused gov’t spending: $960 per household
• Smoking-caused health costs and productivity losses per pack sold in USA (low estimate): $19.16 per pack
• Average retail price per pack in the USA (including sales tax): $6.01

Tobacco Industry Advertising & Political Influence
• Annual tobacco industry spending on marketing its products nationwide: $9.5 billion ($25+ million each day)
Research studies have found that kids are three times as sensitive to tobacco advertising than adults and are more likely to be influenced to smoke by cigarette marketing than by peer pressure; and that a third of underage experimentation with smoking is attributable to tobacco company advertising and promotion.
• Tobacco company PAC contributions to federal candidates, 2014 election cycle: More than $1.8 million
• Tobacco industry expenditures lobbying Congress in 2014: $22.0 million