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Breaking News

Protect Yourself From Flu


Last updated: January 19, 2018, 12:14 pm

California and Contra Costa are seeing high levels of flu activity. We remind the community to take the following steps to prevent the spread of flu.

  • Get your flu vaccine
  • Clean hands often with soap and water or with hand sanitizer
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Stay home when you’re sick

People with flu like symptoms should call their health plan's Advice Nurses to get help with self-care or to help them decide if they need to visit an urgent care clinic, make an appointment with their health care provider or go to an emergency room. Rarely is emergency room needed for flu or respiratory issues.

Contra Costa Health Plan members and Contra Costa residents who do not have health coverage can call 1-877-661-6230 and select option 1 to speak to an Advice Nurse.

See more information about flu and flu prevention.

Latest flu information

Advice Nurse Flu Flyer

Press Release

Contra Costa County to Begin Enforcing New Tobacco Sales Laws


Monday, January 8, 2018


New laws to protect youth from tobacco influences went into effect this month and local health officials are enforcing the new regulations, which include prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products, such as menthol cigarettes and flavored e-liquids, within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, playgrounds, and libraries in unincorporated parts of the county. The sale of cigars in pack sizes under 10 is also prohibited in unincorporated areas of the county, with cigars selling for $5 each excluded from the regulations.

The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors passed new rules last summer, and retailers were given a period of time to prepare. The County's Tobacco Prevention Program has been doing education and outreach to all tobacco retailers in recent months to help ensure compliance with the new youth protections.

A 2016 survey showed that more than 80% of stores licensed to sell tobacco that are located near schools in Contra Costa County carried flavored products, such as "watermelon" or "tropical blast" cigarillos or little cigars. Many small cigars and cigarillos are sold for less than $1, making them attractive and affordable for youth.

"These tobacco products are clearly aimed at youth and they serve as a gateway to a lifetime of addiction to tobacco," said Denice Dennis, manager of the Tobacco Prevention Program. "These new tobacco-sales rules will help prevent our youth from tobacco influences in the community."

The new regulations prohibit the sale of flavored "e-liquids" for use with electronic smoking devices, which also come in candy and fruit flavors that appeal to new, young smokers. A recent UC San Francisco study showed that many teens who vape would not have started smoking if only traditional tobacco products were available. Other research shows that teens who vape are four times more likely to begin smoking cigarettes a year later than those who do not.

Under the new regulations, no new tobacco retailer licenses will be granted to businesses located within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, playgrounds or libraries, or within 500 feet of another business that sells tobacco.

Another provision adopted by the Board of Supervisors that bans sales of tobacco products in pharmacies won't take effect until July 2018 after their tobacco retailer licenses expire.

Retailers not complying with the new rules can be fined up to $500 for each day they are in violation and may face suspension or revocation of their tobacco retailer license.

Contra Costa joins many other Bay Area cities and counties to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products including Santa Clara and Yolo Counties, and the cities of El Cerrito, Novato, Los Gatos, San Francisco, and Oakland.

For more information about the County's new tobacco regulations, please visit cchealth.org/tobacco.

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Press Contact
  • Denice Dennis,
    925-313-6825