Tobacco Control Leader of the Year Award

TUPE Manager Receives Tobacco Control Leader of the Year Award
Posted on 01/20/2023
PLEASANT HILL, Calif. - Emily Justice, the Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) program manager at the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), was honored for her work to prevent young people from using tobacco.

The Contra Costa Tobacco Prevention Coalition (TPC) recently named Justice the Tobacco Control Leader of the Year for her work in building relationships with schools and increasing the number of students being served by anti-tobacco programs.

TUPE provides technical assistance for comprehensive tobacco use prevention education programs, including curriculum, intervention, and youth development to schools and school districts throughout Contra Costa County. TUPE's primary focus areas are vaping prevention, since e-cigarettes (also known as vape pens) are the most popular product among young people, and the intersections between tobacco and cannabis use among young people.

“I am extremely proud of the outreach and education Emily Justice and the TUPE team have accomplished,” Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey said. “Tobacco use and vaping, are real problems in this country and the work being done daily to stop children from getting hooked is vital. The team’s dedication, community partnerships, and focus on relationship building has been a recipe for success in helping to reduce nicotine addiction among the youth in Contra Costa County.”

By collaborating with students, families, and teachers, TUPE provides relevant education and curriculum to school districts that teaches students about nicotine dependence, establishing healthy alternatives, and how to move past nicotine addiction. The goal is to raise awareness to students and families about tobacco effects and nicotine addiction. Evidence-informed educational instruction and activities are utilized to train students to become TUPE ambassadors at their schools.

“Emily and the TUPE team have created meaningful relationships with schools in Contra Costa County that have significantly improved tobacco prevention efforts,” Isabelle Kirske, Senior Health Education Specialist at Contra Costa Health Services, and a member of the TPC, said. “Over the last 11 years, CCCOE’s TUPE team has doubled the number of students it serves. All of which made Emily an obvious choice for Tobacco Control Leader of the Year.”

CCCOE’s TUPE program has had a long-standing partnership with the Tobacco Prevention Coalition (TPC) in Contra Costa County, the longest running tobacco prevention coalition in the state. The county’s TPC began in 1984 as the Smoking Education Coalition, a collaborative effort between the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS). In 1989, after Proposition 99 passed, the effort was renamed the Tobacco Prevention Coalition. Today, the coalition includes more than 20 community organizations and is staffed by CCHS' Tobacco Prevention Program. Since the coalition formed, the adult smoking rate in Contra Costa County has dropped 60 percent.


About Contra Costa County Office of Education
One of 58 counties in California, Contra Costa County has the 9th largest public-school student population in the state (approximately 158,401 students). Officially established in 1932, the CCCOE has a long history of providing direct services to some of our county's most vulnerable students, including young people who are incarcerated, homeless, or in foster care, as well as students who have severe physical or emotional challenges.

CCCOE also provides support services to schools and school districts in Contra Costa County; services that can be handled most effectively and economically on a regional basis rather than by each of the county's 285 schools or 18 school districts. These services range from budget approval and fiscal support to technology infrastructure, communication support, and high-level professional development opportunities for educators. CCCOE maintains a website at
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