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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. Thirty-three grantees have been funded to implement comprehensive programs in 50 counties and one tribal nation, covering about 85% of the state's population. Community grantees work with coalitions comprised of community leaders, schools, businesses, health care providers, and other partners to promote effective policies and programs to reduce tobacco use at the local level.
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.