Navigate Up
Menu +
Home > Home (English) > News and Events

Tobacco Retail Environment Report Card

Santa Clara County Gets Graded with the Tobacco Report Card
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA— The Tobacco Free Coalition of Santa Clara County and Community Advocate Teens, in partnership with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, released the final results of the 2011 – 2012 Tobacco Retail Environment Report Card. The report card indicates how well Santa Clara County and its cities are doing, in keeping tobacco products away from youth.
The Tobacco Report Card provides grades to all cities and the County of Santa Clara for their efforts to protect the health and safety of youth from using tobacco products through tobacco control policies and enforcement. Now in its sixth year, the Report Card, funded through California Proposition 99, is a tool to both monitor and encourage jurisdictions in Santa Clara County to strengthen their tobacco control policies.
2011 – 2012 Tobacco Report Card Results*
Santa Clara County City​ Tobacco Report Card Grade​ Point Total **​
San Jose A​ 110​
Santa Clara County​ A​ 102​
Mountain View​ A​ 95​
Saratoga​ A​ 95​
Milpitas​ A​ 90​
Los Altos​ B​ 80​
Sunnyvale​ B​ 80​
Santa Clara​ B​ 80​
Campbell​ B​ 80​
Cupertino​ B​ 80​
Palo Alto​ B​ 80​
Los Gatos​ B​ 80​
Morgan Hill​ B​ 80​
Gilroy​ F​ 50​
As in the past, the Tobacco Report Card grading criteria focuses on city and county efforts around enforcement and compliance of current and new tobacco laws, as well as the adoption of a tobacco retail licensing (TRL) policy. By passing a Tobacco Retail Licensing policy this year, the city of San Jose joins the County and three other cities earning the top grade for working to create or strengthen tobacco control policies, and for conducting enforcement and compliance operations.
"Our tobacco retail licensing program is a key component in our efforts to promote a healthier community for all San Jose youth," San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said. "We know that restricting underage access to tobacco products is one of the most effective ways to prevent teenagers from taking up smoking."
In addition, areas such as compliance with limitations on window advertisement and display regulations are considered, as these also contribute to overall youth exposure to tobacco influences.  Although a Tobacco Retail License is the gold standard policy in preventing youth access to tobacco because the policy provides direct funding for enforcement, jurisdictions passing “Conditional Use Permit” policies also qualify for the additional points that make an “A” grade possible. A local land use ordinance, such as a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) process, can be used not only to regulate the location and density of tobacco retailers in a community, but also to impose requirements on how tobacco retailers operate.
Extra credit are also given to jurisdictions  for additional enforcement, community education outreach (such as school education), follow-up on complaints and attending tobacco-related trainings, and for promoting lasting policy solutions, such as secondhand smoke policies.
“It’s crucial to the health of the entire community to keep tobacco products out of the hands of young people,” says Dr. Martin Fenstersheib, County Health Officer. “While our efforts are working, there is much more to be done. We need to remain committed to making sure Santa Clara County and all of its cities come out on top with an ‘A’ grade each year—it’s what will make us a healthier community overall.”
One important enforcement tool for tobacco policies includes tobacco youth decoy operations, which are used to determine how such policies are being enforced. During the decoy operations, underage youth, in the company of City or County Enforcement staff, attempt to purchase tobacco products.  This year’s operations were conducted by city police departments in 12 out of the 13 cities, plus the Sheriff’s Office of Santa Clara County.  Altogether, the reach was to 415 tobacco retailers, 39 of which sold tobacco to youth. Currently, the illegal sales rate to minors in Santa Clara County, as reported by all 14 law enforcement jurisdictions in Santa Clara County is 9.3%, which is up 2.6% from last year.
About the Tobacco Prevention and Education Program
Since 1989, Santa Clara County Tobacco Prevention & Education Program (TPEP) mission is to improve the health of all residents in Santa Clara County by reducing illness and premature death attributed to the use of tobacco products. Funded through the California Proposition 99, TPEP educates local people, businesses, organizations and schools about local tobacco control policies and available quit resources.
For more information about the Tobacco Prevention and Education Program or need a copy of all cities and county grades, or to learn more facts about Tobacco Retail Licensing, call 408-793-2700 or visit
* Sponsored by: Tobacco Free Coalition of Santa Clara County, Community Advocate Teens of Today & Santa Clara County Public Health Department.
** Grading is based on a 100 point scale with an additional 20 points extra credit.
Download news release
Download press conference photo slideshow (PDF, 1.05 MB)


Contact County Disclaimer

Our mission is to prevent disease and injury and create environments that promote and protect the community's health.