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State awards over $146,000 in tobacco prevention grants





SOUTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, January 14, 2011
CONTACT: Colleen Winter, (605) 773-3737
 
State awards over $146,000 in tobacco prevention grants
 
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Tobacco Control Program has awarded $146,495 in grant funding to eight community/school partnerships statewide in the following communities: Brandon, Canton, Dell Rapids, Custer and Fall River Counties, Mitchell, Spearfish, Sioux Falls and Watertown. The partnerships will use the funding to support tobacco control activities that match specific needs in the communities and schools they serve. This is the first year of the Community/School Partnership Grants Program. In the past, schools and communities were funded for tobacco prevention and control through two separate grant programs.
 
“It’s more important than ever to make South Dakotans aware of the dangers associated with tobacco use. There is simply no safe level of exposure. Each community will have its own needs and challenges, and each community will know which strategies and programs will work best for them,” said Colleen Winter, director of health and medical services for the South Dakota Department of Health. Winter referenced the most recent Surgeon General’s Report, released on December 9, 2010 which revealed new evidence that smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke cause immediate harm to the human body. "It's staggering how damaging even small amounts of exposure to cigarette smoke can be. These tobacco prevention grants help support our communities and schools in thier efforts to devleop and expand successful programs," she noted.
 
“We know community and school-based tobacco prevention and control activities are an effective strategy for reducing tobacco use and limiting exposure to secondhand smoke,” said Winter. “It gives each community an opportunity to determine its priorities and make the message their own.” Partnerships can use the grant monies for such activities as working with businesses or health care providers to promote cessation, implementing prevention and cessation programs in schools or promoting tobacco-free policies.
 
The grant awards are funded by Initiated Measure 2 passed by voters in 2006. The ballot measure increased the tax on tobacco products and allocated funding to the Department of Health for tobacco prevention and control.
 
The Department of Health’s Tobacco Control Program coordinates state efforts to reduce death and disease caused by tobacco use, South Dakota’s leading cause of preventable death. The program works to prevent people from starting to use tobacco products, help current tobacco users quit and reduce nonsmokers’ exposure to secondhand smoke. The program’s efforts include: providing technical assistance and support to individuals, businesses, healthcare providers, and educational institutions; offering funding and support to local entities; conducting statewide public education campaigns; operating the State’s tobacco QuitLine; and conducting surveillance and program evaluation.
 
Reducing tobacco use is a key objective of the department’s Health 2020 Initiative.
 
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Partnership Name
Community Served
Grant Amount
Brandon Tobacco Prevention Coalition
Brandon
$12,570
Canton Community Coalition
Canton
$8,925
Dell Rapids/St. Mary School
Dell Rapids
$3,889
EMPOWER Coalition of the Southern Hills
Fall River/Custer Counties
$25,000
Mitchell Tobacco Prevention Coalition/Unfiltered REALity
Mitchell
$21,948
Sioux Falls Coalition for a Drug-Free South Dakota
Sioux Falls
$24,163
Health Happens with Spearfish Schools/Community Tobacco Free Campaign
Spearfish
$25,000
Watertown Tobacco-Free Coalition
Watertown
$25,000