Tobacco Prevention Program



DSHS funds organizations to create Tobacco Prevention and Control Coalitions (TPCCs) to prevent and reduce the harmful use of tobacco products in communities across Texas, particularly among youth. Coalitions are comprised of parents, teachers, youth, law enforcement, businesses, religious leaders, healthcare providers, and other community members who are working at the local level to make their communities safer, healthier, and tobacco-free.

The goal of the coalition program is to build long-lasting tobacco prevention activities and positive changes in local communities throughout Texas.  Since 2008, DSHS-funded coalitions have educated over 200,000 youth and 48,000 adults on the dangers of tobacco and ways to get involved in their community prevention efforts. 

DSHS funds two community coalitions to prevent and reduce the harmful use of tobacco products in LGBTQ+ communities. A high percentage of LGBTQ+ individuals use tobacco products. Coalitions are comprised of LGBTQ+ individuals and allies who represent community organizations, health systems, universities, and local businesses working at the local level to make their communities safer, healthier, and tobacco-free.  Reasons for higher tobacco rates within the LGBTQ+ community include:

  • 20.5% of LGB adults smoke cigarettes comp to 15.3% of straight adults.1
  • Gay, bisexual, and transgender men are 20% less likely than straight men to be aware of smoking quitlines despite LGBT individuals having exposure to tobacco cessation advertising similar to straight individuals’ exposure.2
  • Approximately 36% of LGBT smokers report smoking menthol cigarettes compared to 29% of heterosexual/straight smokers.3

    1.     American Lung Association. The LGBT Community: APriority Population for Tobacco Control [PDF–367 KB]pdficonexternal icon. Greenwood Village (CO): American Lung Association, Smokefree Communities Project[accessed 2021 Dec 17].
    2.     Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Best Practices User Guide: Health Equity in Tobacco Prevention and Control [PDF–5.05 MB]pdf icon. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2015 [accessed 2021 Dec 17].
    3.     Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons and Tobacco Use. [accessed 2021 Dec 17]

Breathe With Pride - Areas served: Austin and Travis County
Breathe With Pride Houston- Areas served: Houston



Counties Saves by TX TPCC 2000-2023

Current DSHS-funded coalitions are:
The Coalition, Inc. – Counties served: Angelina, Polk, and San Augustine
Bay Area Council on Drugs & Alcohol – County served: Brazoria 
Behavioral Health Solutions of South Texas – Counties served: Cameron and Willacy


Peers Against Tobacco 

Peers Against Tobacco is a system-level, multi-component tobacco prevention program for colleges and universities in the state of Texas. Established in 2014, the goal of the program is to reduce the use of tobacco and alternative tobacco products (e.g., electronic cigarettes, hookah) among college and university students, and ultimately, to change the overall tobacco landscape among Texas colleges and universities.


The Statewide Youth Advisory Board, also known as Teen Ambassadors, was established in 2000 and is comprised of 15-25 high school students from across Texas. Teen Ambassadors provide guidance on the statewide youth movement (SAY WHAT!) and are leaders in their community and throughout the state. They educate peers, adults, and stakeholders on the harmful effects of tobacco use. 

SAY WHAT! stands for Students, Adults, and Youth Working Hard Against Tobacco! Created in 2011, it is the statewide youth tobacco use prevention movement in Texas. This movement connects youth and adults working towards reducing tobacco use in Texas. As of July 2018, the SAY WHAT! program has reached over one million youth through statewide efforts, such as Regional Action Summits, Annual Youth Tobacco Prevention Conferences, and mini-grants kits.