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Prevention > Community Based Programs
Community-based/Medical-based prevention strategies can be another effective way to reduce tobacco use in the population. Community prevention interventions have the potential to reach a wide audience.
Last updated: February 15, 2012
Community-based/Medical-based prevention strategies offer a promising solution to reducing and preventing the initiation of smoking and tobacco use. Community/Medical based prevention interventions can focus on altering tobacco use behavior, promoting tobacco use change within the community, and/or passing and enforcing anti-tobacco legislation. Below are just a few of the effective strategies that can be implemented in a community and/or medical setting to reduce tobacco use initiation and/or promote cessation.
Awareness Campaigns/Media Coverage
Tobacco advertising and promotion activities appear to simultaneously encourage adult consumption and to increase the risk of youth initiation. Thus, counter-marketing strategies can be powerful tools to counteract the influence of tobacco promotion. Highlighted below are just a few Awareness Campaigns:
- The Cigar Trap: The Cigar Trap is a public health awareness and education campaign brought to you by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The purpose of this campaign is to call attention to the growing problem of non-premium cigarillo (small cigars) and little cigar (“brown cigarette”) use among underage youth in Maryland. Part of the mission of this campaign is to increase Marylander's awareness that non-premium cigarillo and little cigar use is a real and growing issue among youth, and cigars are just as dangerous, toxic and addictive as cigarettes. Cigarillos and little cigars are available in a myriad of seemingly harmless fruit and candy flavorings that mask the harshness of tobacco and make the products more enticing to youth.
- American Lung Association of Maryland: According to the State of Tobacco Control 2010, published by the American Lung Association, Maryland received a Failing grade for Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending. 1 The state funding for Maryland's tobacco control program in fiscal year 2011 was a meager $4.3 million, a drastic reduction from $19.6 million just two years ago. 2 Visit ALA of Maryland to locate the 4 offices within the state. You will find events and programs for youth, sponsored by Maryland's state chapter as well as local tobacco-related news. For residents of other states you can contact your local lung association at 1-800-548-8252 (1-800-LUNG-USA.)
- American Legacy Foundation: Truth® Campaign: The American Legacy Foundation has used selling tactics similar to those used by consumer marketers. They are trying to sell teens (12-17) on not smoking cigarettes, data in the USA suggests that 80 percent of all adult smokers begin smoking regularly before the age of 18.3 Farrelly and colleagues4 reported finding that the American Legacy Foundation's truth® campaign prevented hundreds of thousands of youth from initiating smoking in a 2 year period. In a study done in 2009, it was shown that antitobacco beliefs and attitudes increased steadily during the first 3 years of the truth campaign.5
Other Community Strategies
- Maryland Clean Indoor Air Act The act was signed into law on May 17, 2007. The act prohibits smoking in all indoor workplaces in order to “preserve and improve the health, comfort, and environment of the people of Maryland by limiting exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.” 6 The law provides for fair and consistent statewide protection from exposure to secondhand smoke in indoor settings. 6
- Community Based Smoke- Free Coalition Community Based Coalitions consist of members in the community with a common goal of changing policy. Smoke-Free Coalitions consist of people within the community with a common interest to educate and change policy on smoking. Coalitions can come from any type of community setting such as schools, neighborhoods, and even counties.7 School based coalitions in Maryland include Teens Rejecting Abusive Smoking Habits (T.R.A.S.H.) www.marylandtrash.com and Students Together Organizing Prevention Strategies (S.T.O.P.S.) www.marylandstops.com which try to educate and prevent teens from smoking.8
1American Lung Association. (2010). State of Tobacco Control 2010: State at a Glance- Maryland. Retrieved October 25, 2011 from http://www.stateoftobaccocontrol.org/state-grades/maryland/
2American Lung Association. (2010). State of Tobacco Control 2010: Behind the Scenes-Maryland. Retrieved October 25, 2011 from http://www.stateoftobaccocontrol.org/state-grades/maryland/behind-the-scenes.html
3SAMHSA, HHS: Calculated based on data in 2005 National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health [http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/nsduh.htm].
4Farrelly, M. C., Davis, K. C., Haviland, M. L., Messeri, P. & Healton, C. G. (2005). Evidence of a Dose-Response Relationship Between "truth" Antismoking Ads and Youth Smoking Prevalence. American Journal of Public Health, 95, 425 - 431.
5Farrelly, M. C., Davis, K. C., Duke, J., & Messeri, P. (2009). Sustaining 'truth': Changes in youth tobacco attitudes and smoking intentions after 3 years of a national antismoking campaign. Health Education Research, 24(1), 42-48. doi: 10.1093/her/cym087
6Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Infectious Disease and Environmental Health Administration. (unkown). Maryland’s Clean Indoor Act of 2007. Retrieved October 18, 2011 from http://ideha.dhmh.maryland.gov/eh/clean-indoor-act.aspx
7U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (unknown). Coalitions State and Community Interventions. Retrieved October 18, 2011 from http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/stateandcommunity/bp_user_guide/pdfs/user_guide.pdf
8Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Family Health Administration. (unknown). Statewide Tobacco Control Initiatives. Retrieved October 25, 2011 from http://fha.maryland.gov/ohpetup/tob_state_initiatives.cfm