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About Us

The Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) transforms tobacco taxes into cutting edge research to reduce commercial tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases and to inform public policy that benefits California’s diverse populations.

As one of three state agencies that work together towards a tobacco-free California, we aim to eliminate commercial tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases and to improve the health and well-being of all Californians. TRDRP works with the California Department of Public Health and Department of Education under the guidance of the Tobacco Education and Research Oversight Committee to ensure collaboration across all sectors of California's tobacco control community (see yellow box to the left).

TRDRP is solely funded through the tobacco tax and individual contributions.

In 1988, California voters approved Proposition 99, The Tobacco Tax and Health Protection Act, which instituted a 25¢ per pack cigarette surtax and designated 5 percent of revenues ($0.0125 per pack) to tobacco-related disease research resulting in the formation of the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP). The Act also made California the model for a comprehensive state tobacco control program aimed at denormalizing the use of tobacco products.

In 2016, California voters approved Proposition 56, the Tobacco Tax Increase Initiative, which increased the cigarette surtax in California from $0.87 per pack to $2.87 per pack.  This marked the first time since 1989 that cigarette taxes had been increased in California, and it positioned the state as having the 9th highest tax in the country, up from 35th. Proposition 56 revenues are distributed to certain state agencies to pay for implementation costs associated with the proposition, with the remaining revenues distributed to other state agencies by a formula.  TRDRP receives 5% of the remaining revenues after implementation costs.  Increasing the price of tobacco products has been shown to deter the initiation of tobacco product use and to motivate quit attempts by current tobacco product users. Additionally, these new funds resulted in an eight-fold increase in the TRDRP budget creating substantial new funding opportunities for researchers throughout the state of California.

TRDRP is committed to supporting critical research needed to inform the state’s tobacco control activities and to improve the care for Californians stricken with tobacco-related diseases.

TRDRP is administered by the Research Grants Program Office (RGPO) at the University of California, Office of the President.