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Fill-in-the-Blank News Release
for County Health Departments

For Release: March __, 2000
Contact: (Administrator’s Name)
_____ County Health Department
(Telephone #)

_____ County Health Department Supports "Four Cornerstones" Tobacco Use Prevention Programs at the Community Level

The _____ County Health Department has announced its support for the "Four Cornerstones" approach to adopting a successful state tobacco reduction program. The elements of the scientifically based comprehensive program include community-based initiatives; classroom education programs; a counter-marketing media campaign; and cessation assistance.

"Based on the recent conclusions of the Oklahoma Tobacco Use Prevention Science Advisory Council and the national report released by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (IOM), we believe this approach is the best way to begin decreasing the use of tobacco in Oklahoma and in our county," said _____, health department administrator.

_____ said the national IOM report showed that states with plans similar to Oklahoma’s "Four Cornerstones" approach were successful in reducing tobacco consumption. Florida smoking rates were reduced among middle school students by 54 percent and in high school students by 24 percent in the first two years of implementation. Since 1990, California reduced overall consumption rates by 40 percent. Since 1993, Massachusetts reduced overall consumption by 31 percent and smoking during pregnancy by 48 percent.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that between $21.8 million and $56.3 million per year will be needed for an effective program in Oklahoma. "There is simply no better investment that Oklahoma can make to save lives and improve the quality of all our lives, especially those of our children," _____ emphasized.

_____ explained that through the "Four Cornerstones" approach, local communities would have the opportunity to plan and implement programs at the local level. "For example, our youth would become leaders in efforts to reduce teenage addiction and our local law enforcement would assist in statewide efforts to help reduce illegal tobacco to minors."

_____ said a comprehensive approach to tobacco use reduction would make certain that tobacco prevention programs are extended in the classroom. To be most effective, these school-based programs would be tailored to fit local needs as determined by students, parents, faculty, and local school boards. A coordinated statewide media campaign, including messages selected or designed by Oklahoma youth, would also be implemented to enhance and reinforce community and classroom activities. To reduce the health consequences of tobacco use, cessation assistance programs would be offered in health care settings, schools, and worksites. In addition, a toll-free "quitline" would help ensure easy access to assessment, counseling, and self-help materials.

For more information on tobacco use prevention in _____ County, call the _____ County Health Department at (phone number).

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