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|Communities of Excellence in Tobacco Control|
Community-based programs are an essential element of any successful, statewide initiative to reduce tobacco use. Seventeen grantees have completed a rigorous strategic planning process and received grants to implement comprehensive tobacco control programs to reduce tobacco use throughout their communities. Thirty-eight counties and three tribal nations are served by the Communities of Excellence grantees.
A "Community of Excellence" in tobacco control is one in which social norms consistently point to no tobacco use throughout the community. Public places and workplaces are smoke-free; community organizations and events reject tobacco industry sponsorship; schools implement strong anti-tobacco curriculum and adopt tobacco-free policies; health care providers routinely refer tobacco-users to accessible, culturally appropriate cessation services; the local media report accurately on tobacco-related issues; businesses run tobacco prevention messages in their employee newsletters; tobacco industry promotions and activities are monitored and countered; and the police coordinate with the local health department to enforce a tobacco retail licensing ordinance. This list is potentially endless, limited only by the imagination, enthusiasm, and determination of a local coalition.