Programs to get $115,000 for smoking prevention

April 20, 2003

The Harford County Health Department has awarded funding for Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Programs under the Cigarette Restitution Fund Program.

According to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Baseline Tobacco Survey, 21.8 percent of adults and 21.4 percent of youth in Harford County use tobacco products.

Community-based groups, including Upper Chesapeake Health, the Lung Association of Maryland, Inner County Outreach and Today's Family Ministries, have been awarded $115,000 to develop and implement youth initiatives, including:

Pediatric provider education;

work site tobacco cessation;

secondhand smoke awareness;

minority outreach;

tobacco-related training.

School-based groups including the Harford County Public School System, Upper Chesapeake Health Pre-K program and Harford Community College have been awarded $92,000 to develop and implement tobacco prevention projects, including:

The Tobacco Suspension Intervention Project;

The Middle School Alternative After School Program;

The PSA Video Program Contest;

Pre-K Prevention Programs;

The Tobacco Free Campus Project;

Cessation classes provided for Harford County public and private school employees and the students at Harford Community College.

The Health Department also awarded a total of $207,000 in community and school-based projects.

All projects must support the statewide goal of reducing tobacco use by youth and adults by 50 percent before 2010. The Harford County Cancer and Tobacco Community Coalition is made up of 65 community and agency members. It serves as the advisory body on Cigarette Restitution Fund programming for the Harford County Health Department.

In the United States, more than 400,000 people die each year from smoking. One in five Maryland residents uses one or more types of nicotine.

For more information about tobacco initiatives in Harford, call Lanie Skittle-Watson, the Harford County Cancer and Tobacco Community Coalition coordinator, at 410-638-8485.

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