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FOR RELEASE: March 28, 2002
CONTACT: Dick Gunn
405/271-5601

Two Ethnic Tobacco Education Network Contracts Awarded

The Oklahoma State Department of Health's Tobacco Use Prevention Service announced today the awarding of funds for the development of two additional ethnic tobacco education networks. The ethnic networks are being established to help reach minority communities with messages of tobacco use prevention, cessation and the dangers of secondhand smoke. Each of the contractors will receive $82,500 over the next 18 months.

The two successful bidders are the Asian-American Community Service Association, to oversee the development of the Asian-American Tobacco Education Network, and the Area Health Education Center at the North Campus of Tulsa Community College, to develop the African-American Tobacco Education Network. Eugene Johnson is the coordinator for the African-American Network. A coordinator for the Asian-American Network will be announced at a future date.

The new ethnic networks will work with two other ethnic networks currently operational. The Hispanic/Latino Network started in July 2000. It is located in the Oklahoma City Latino Community Development Agency and coordinated by Martha Lopez. The Native American Network, coordinated by Cindy Martin, is located in the Indian Health Care Resource Center in Tulsa and has been operational since April 2001.

The networks address the following tobacco use prevention and reduction goals:

  • To prevent tobacco use by youth;
  • To prevent exposure to environmental tobacco smoke; and
  • To promote tobacco use cessation (quitting) among youth and adults.

The ethnic networks will design and employ work with specifically tailored interventions to meet the needs of the community, and develop ways to reduce and eliminate health disparities related to tobacco use.between the races. In addition, the networks will conduct an educational campaign to fight the tobacco industry's advertising tactics that target ethnic populations.

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