Dawn Dunn

To facilitate change, a strong and visionary leader with determination is needed. In specific, Dawn M. Dunn, who has been the director of the Public Health Department's, Tobacco Prevention and Settlement Program since its inception, has been that type of leader. Dawn has an exuberant style and her passion for tobacco control and desire to "push the envelope," has provided a call to action for the coalition, which has resulted in long-lasting, local change.

There probably is not an area of our work that has experienced more change in the past 10 years, than tobacco control. This change has taken shape in California in large part due to the incredible efforts of the American Lung Association and other voluntary health organizations and has been speared on by the formation of local community coalitions, which were mandated by Proposition 99 (1989 voter initiative-.25 tobacco tax). In Santa Barbara County, CEASE, A Coalition Engaged in A Smoke-free Effort, has been at the forefront of local tobacco control. This coalition is a diverse group of agencies and individuals who educate on and advocate for a wide variety of tobacco-related topics. Some of the accomplishments that have been achieved under Dawn's leadership include:

  • Achievement of a 95% compliance with California's Smoke-free Workplace Law.
  • The first ban on the self-service display on tobacco products in southern California, despite aggressive tobacco-industry backed opposition. (This is now state law, though 5 of Santa Barbara's communities' law are stricter.) 
  • Tobacco retailer licensing laws in 1/3 of the communities in the county.
  • One of the strongest outdoor smoking restrictions for both private and public worksites, banning smoking within 20 feet of all buildings in 2 communities. (This is now a state law for public buildings.)
  • Highest per capita allocation of local tobacco settlement dollars in the state.

The American Lung Association has been an active member of CEASE since its inception. We value Dawn Dunn's leadership, the exceptional work of her staff and the dedication and dynamism of the over 85 members of the coalition. To get more information about joining CEASE, send an email to ddunn@co.santa-barbara.ca.us.