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Who We Are

As a program of the California Department of Public Health, UNDO is one of the nation’s leading public health programs — fighting to end Big Tobacco’s deadly epidemic in California. We work every day to undo the tobacco industry’s damage and restore every Californian’s right to health and wellness. Because we all have the right to live in healthy communities with clean air and water, and free from the tobacco industry’s death, disease, and toxic waste. And kids should grow up without Big Tobacco poisoning their childhoods.

For more than 30 years, Californians have stood up against the tobacco industry’s poison, pollution, and prejudice. Join us.

We’ve been putting an end to Big Tobacco’s epidemic for over 30 years.


youth vaping rate in the US1

2nd state

to end the sale of most flavored tobacco products2

3rd lowest

adult smoking rate in the US3

60% decrease

in the adult smoking rate4

43% decrease

in lung and bronchial cancer rates in California5

1 million +

lives saved6

$500 billion

saved in healthcare costs7

$51.4 billion

kept out of the tobacco industry’s pockets and 15.7 billion fewer packs of cigarettes sold over the past 30 years7

71% decline

in flavored e-cigarette and 95% decrease in menthol cigarette sales in 202389
Flavored tobacco law for tobacco retailers

Selling flavored tobacco is illegal

A California law prohibits retailers from selling most flavored tobacco products, including vapes and menthol cigarettes. Follow the law to avoid fines – and save lives.

Follow the law
Nicotine Equals Brain Poison

Nicotine is an addictive poison and neurotoxin1011

Nicotine is especially dangerous for kids and young adults’ brains, and can amplify anxiety, depression, mood swings, and learning difficulties.121314

Expose the harms
The tobacco industry's rebranding itself as your friend

Big Tobacco’s Fantasyland is a nightmare

Big Tobacco’s trying to sell us a future without smoking. Their deception is dangerous – and deadly.

Learn the truth
Big Tobacco’s Little Big Lie

Big Tobacco is a top global plastic polluter15

Cigarette butts are made of microplastics– tiny toxic fibers that pollute our environment and could harm us all.16171819

Uncover the lie
Black lives & health matter

Menthol cigarette sales law saves Black lives

Ending the sales of menthol cigarettes stops Big Tobacco’s strategic killing of the Black community— improving health equity for all.20 California’s flavored tobacco law focuses on tobacco retailers – not the people the industry addicts.

See how the law affects you

[UNDO is] a model for public health and our state's low and falling smoking rate is a testament that what you do works.21

Xavier Becerra — United States Secretary of Health and Human Services

Ending the sale of flavored tobacco brings us significantly closer to creating a California in which all communities and future generations are free from the tobacco industry’s hold.22

Dr. Pam Ling — Professor of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco

I refuse to accept the idea that these products are with us forever.21

Dr. Ruth Malone — Professor Emerita, Department Of Social And Behavioral Sciences, UCSF
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Flavored tobacco is out. Saving lives is in.

Californians came together to say no to flavored tobacco. We said no to hooking kids with colorful flavored vapes. No to menthol cigarettes killing our Black communities. No to Big Tobacco’s deadly manipulation. When we work together, we can make real change that helps millions of people.
End Big Tobacco’s epidemic now

Tobacco Industry's Damage:

The tobacco industry currently spends billions each year on slick marketing tactics and political influence so they can profit off death and disease.2324
Learn more
Even for people who don’t use tobacco, there can be deadly consequences.25
Learn more
The industry calls kids their “replacement customers.”26 Big Tobacco sentences them to a lifetime of addiction and disease.
Learn more
This racist and unjust industry has strategically targeted certain communities with deadly products and manipulative messaging.27
Learn more
No one’s safe from the environmental damage and health risks from toxic tobacco waste and its plastic pollution.1618192829303132
Learn more
lady in a garden wearing a head scarf

Protect the people and places you love

Speak up against Big Tobacco’s damage now.
  1. Clodfelter R, Dutra LM, Bradfield B, Russell S, Levine B, von Jaglinsky A. Annual results report for the California Youth Tobacco Survey 2023. Berkeley, CA: RTI International. In press.
  2. Raymond N. US Supreme Court rejects challenge to California flavored tobacco ban. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/legal/us-supreme-court-rejects-challenge-california-flavored-tobacco-ban-2024-01-08/. Published January 8, 2024. Accessed March 29, 2024.
  3. Neuling H. Key state-specific tobacco-related data & rankings. Updated January 3, 2024. Accessed March 22, 2024. https://assets.tobaccofreekids.org/factsheets/0176.pdf
  4. California Department of Public Health, California Tobacco Control Program. California Tobacco Facts and Figures 2022. Sacramento, CA: California Department of Public Health; May 2023. https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CCDPHP/DCDIC/CTCB/CDPH%20Document%20Library/ResearchandEvaluation/FactsandFigures/CaliforniaTobaccoFactsAndFigures2022.pdf
  5. Cancer-Rates.info | California. Accessed March 27, 2024. https://cancer-rates.info/ca/
  6. California Department of Public Health. California’s Award Winning Tobacco Control Program Marks Its 20th Anniversary [press release]. April 7, 2009. Accessed March 24, 2020.
  7. Lightwood J, Anderson S. Health Care Cost Savings Attributable to the California Tobacco Control Program, 1989 to 2018. San Francisco, CA: Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco;2020.
  8. CDC Foundation. (2023). Monitoring U.S. E-Cigarette Sales: State Trends Data Brief. Issue 11. Published September 10, 2023. https://www.cdcfoundation.org/QuarterlyE-CigaretteSalesDataBrief_9.10.2023.pdf?inline
  9. CDC Foundation. Monitoring U.S. E-cigarette Sales: National Trends. Published September 10, 2023. Accessed May 3, 2024. https://www.cdcfoundation.org/Issue33-MonthlyECigaretteSalesDataBrief_9.10.2023.pdf?inline.
  10. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: Nicotine Addiction: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control, Center for Health Promotion and Education, Office on Smoking and Health, 1988.
  11. Nicotine: Systemic Agent | NIOSH | CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ershdb/emergencyresponsecard_29750028.html
  12. U.S. Surgeon General. Know the Risks. e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov. https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/knowtherisks.html.
  13. Benowitz NL. Pharmacology of nicotine: addiction, smoking-induced disease, and therapeutics. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2009;49:57-71. doi: 10.1146/annurev.pharmtox.48.113006.094742.
  14. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, April 23). Quick Facts on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/Quick-Facts-on-the-Risks-of-E-cigarettes-for-Kids-Teens-and-Young-Adults.html?s_cid=OSH_emg_GL0001. Accessed August 30, 2023.
  15. Hendlin YH, Bialous SA. The environmental externalities of tobacco manufacturing: A review of tobacco industry reporting. Ambio. 2020;49(1):17-34. doi:10.1007/S13280-019-01148-3/FIGURES/4.
  16. Belzagui F, Buscio V, Gutiérrez-Bouzán C, Vilaseca M. Cigarette butts as a microfiber source with a microplastic level of concern. Science of The Total Environment. 2021;762:144165. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144165
  17. Slaughter E, Gersberg RM, Watanabe K, Rudolph J, Stransky C, Novotny TE. Toxicity of cigarette butts, and their chemical components, to marine and freshwater fish [published correction appears in Tob Control. 2011 Nov;20(6):418]. Tob Control. 2011;20 Suppl 1(Suppl_1):i25–i29. doi:10.1136/tc.2010.040170.
  18. Poma A, Vecchiotti G, Colafarina S, et al. In Vitro Genotoxicity of Polystyrene Nanoparticles on the Human Fibroblast Hs27 Cell Line. Nanomaterials (Basel). 2019;9(9):1299. Published 2019 Sep 11. doi:10.3390/nano9091299 doi:10.1021/acs.est.6b01441.
  19. Break Free From Plastic. Branded Vol. III: Demanding corporate accountability for plastic pollution. 2020.
  20. Levy DT, Pearson JL, Villanti AC, Blackman K, Vallone D, Abrams D. Modeling the future effects of a menthol ban on reduced smoking prevalence and deaths averted in the United States. Am J Public Health. 2011;101(7):1236-1240.
  21. California Tobacco Control Program | Celebrating 30 Years of Health Justice. Accessed April 4, 2024. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xfisjNlwPA
  22. Ling, Pamela. Big Tobacco is Exploiting AAPI Youth for Profit. Here’s How. World Journal. December 2023
  23. Federal Trade Commission. Federal Trade Commission Cigarette Report for 2020. Washington, D.C.: Federal Trade Commission. 2021.
  24. OpenSecrets. Industry Profile: Tobacco. Opensecrets.org. https://www.opensecrets.org/federal-lobbying/industries/summary?cycle=2021&id=A02. Accessed March 16, 2022.
  25. Office on Smoking and Health (US). The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US); 2006.
  26. RJ Reynolds. Younger Adult Smokers: Strategies and Opportunities. https://www.industrydocuments.ucsf.edu/docs/rkvk0045. 1984 February 29.
  27. Anderson SJ. Marketing of menthol cigarettes and consumer perceptions: a review of tobacco industry documents. Tob Control. 2011;20 Suppl 2(Suppl_2):ii20-ii28. doi:10.1136/tc.2010.041939.
  28. Zarus GM, Muianga C, Hunter CM, Pappas RS. A review of data for quantifying human exposures to micro and nanoplastics and potential health risks. Sci Total Environ. 2021;756:144010. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144010.
  29. Jacob H, Besson M, Swarzenski PW, Lecchini D, Metian M. Effects of Virgin Micro- and Nanoplastics on Fish: Trends, Meta-Analysis, and Perspectives. Environ Sci Technol. 2020;54(8):4733-4745. doi:10.1021/acs.est.9b05995
  30. Ziv-Gal A, Flaws JA. Evidence for bisphenol A-induced female infertility: a review (2007-2016). Fertil Steril. 2016;106(4):827-856. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2016.06.027.
  31. Campanale C, Massarelli C, Savino I, Locaputo V, Uricchio VF. A Detailed Review Study on Potential Effects of Microplastics and Additives of Concern on Human Health. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(4):1212. Published 2020 Feb 13. doi:10.3390/ijerph17041212.