Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Editor's Pick

Anti-Tobacco Campaigns Escalating in the Black Community

WASHINGTON (NNPA) As a $4.5 million effort to curb tobacco use among Blacks over three years is coming to an end next month, the American Legacy Foundation, which granted the money to six Black organizations in 2004, says the fight against tobacco use in the Black community is escalating.

'It was an unprecedented alliance of leadership organizations that came together for a common cause ..." says Helen Lettlow, Legacy's assistant vice president for the Priority Population Department.

One of the more creative outreach campaigns is Legacy's public health pilot program called ''eX'', which is a cinema ad campaign that started last month running in eight Baltimore-area theaters and will continue for 12 weeks. The comical ad features a Black man who can't perform normal everyday tasks without a cigarette.

Legacy is now preparing to launch what it calls Phase Two of the Priority Populations Initiative, says Lettlow.

'Phase one was a grassroots, nationwide effort to provide funding to community organizations in African-American urban low income communities,' Lettlow says, 'African-American partners was an expansion of Phase I, which said not only did we want grassroots involvement but grass tops involvement.'

Phase Two of funding, to start in July and go for another three years, will focus largely on smoking among substance abusers by funding rehabilitation programs for anti-smoking initiatives. I will also focus on the reduction of second-hand smoke in the home, and the integration of smoking cessation campaigns with other good health initiatives, such as diabetes education and healthy heart campaigns.

Read the full article by Hazel Trice Edney here.

For more information about the American Legacy Foundation and their efforts to eliminate smoking disparities, visit: http://www.americanlegacy.org/130.htm.