The Board of Directors uses a focused and strategic approach to program funding that will provide the greatest opportunity for impact and measurable outcomes.
In the early years of the Endowment, the Board of Directors dedicated all of the available earnings to effective tobacco use prevention and cessation initiatives for the following reasons:
- Tobacco use remains Oklahoma's leading cause of preventable death, killing about 6,000 Oklahomans and costing Oklahoma over $2 billion in direct and indirect costs each year.
- It was the intent of the Master Settlement Agreement that states would use settlement funds to reduce tobacco use and tobacco-caused illness and death.
- Earnings from the Endowment’s investments grow over time. In the early years, the earnings available for programs were very limited.
- Today, TSET resources and other state funding combined provide less than half of the $32 million per year recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the minimum amount needed to fund an effective, comprehensive statewide tobacco control program in Oklahoma.
- Earnings from the Endowment alone may not be sufficient to fully fund a statewide tobacco control program until FY 2015.
- A strategic focus on dramatically reducing tobacco use in Oklahoma maximizes the impact of the limited earnings available, and leverages funds and other resources from other funding partners such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oklahoma Medicaid, and the American Legacy Foundation.
Tobacco Control, Nutrition and Fitness, and Emerging Opportunities
The Board of Directors engages in a strategic planning process that involves a survey of key stakeholders, a review of the public health statistics in Oklahoma, and a review of the evidence-base in tobacco control. As a result, the Board reaffirms its commitment to tobacco control initiatives as the agency’s top priority through the request for proposal process. In 2011, TSET began funding initiatives to help address our state’s epidemic of physical inactivity and poor nutrition. In addition the Board approved a process by which the agency would accept unsolicited proposals in order to identify and respond to emerging opportunities to improve the health of Oklahomans, primarily through tobacco control or nutrition and fitness.
What We Don’t Fund
- Direct Support of Individuals
- Capital Projects
- Ongoing general operating expenses or existing deficits