Recognizing the need to promote and sustain policies that reduce tobacco use and related health threats, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation today announced that it will award 25 grants totaling $2.2 million to local, regional and national organizations and tribal groups. The grants will support tobacco prevention and cessation policy initiatives, especially for people living in communities most affected by tobacco-related disease and exposure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use causes an estimated 440,000 deaths each year in the United States.
The grant program, Tobacco Policy Change: A Collaborative for Healthier Communities and States, provides organizations with funding to support public education, advocacy, communications and outreach. Over the next three years, approximately $12 million will be available to support statewide and local tobacco control advocacy.
"While significant strides have been made in the battle to reduce tobacco use and the harm it brings to smokers and non-smokers alike, there is much more work to be done," said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "These new grants represent our commitment to sustain our tobacco prevention and cessation work, knowing that we need to pay special attention to policies that can improve the lives of those most negatively affected by tobacco use."
Program grantees will focus on five key policy areas known to decrease tobacco use and promote quitting. Those areas include comprehensive clean indoor air laws; increases in local or state tobacco taxes; increases in public funding of tobacco prevention and cessation programs, in those states receiving Master Settlement Agreement funds or revenues from tobacco taxes; public and private cessation coverage for populations most affected by tobacco; and restrictions on tobacco advertising, product placement, and other means by which tobacco companies market their products to young people.
Lavizzo-Mourey added: "We're very pleased to have such a diverse group of grantees with a broad range of experience in advocacy and community building. We look forward to new gains in our collective efforts to make a noticeable difference in the health of the people we serve and the communities they live in."
Today's announcement marks the first of three cycles of one-year grants. Tobacco Policy Change grants will vary in range from $50,000-$150,000.
Tobacco Policy Change Grantees
Alaska Native Health Board
American Cancer Society Inc., Hawaii Pacific, Inc. / Mauli Ola (Breath of Life)
American Cancer Society Inc., Ohio Division, Inc.
American Lung Association of Georgia
American Lung Association of Illinois-Iowa
American Lung Association of New Hampshire
Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin
Boys & Girls Club of Northern Arapaho Tribe
California Tobacco Control Alliance
Center for MultiCultural Health
Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance
Families Under Urban and Social Attack Inc.
Greater Cleveland Health Education and Service Council
Kentucky ACTION, Inc.
MedChi Foundation Inc.
Medical Foundation Inc.
Mille Lacs Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
Mission City Community Network Inc.
North Carolina Pediatric Society Foundation / NC Alliance for Health
Partnership of African American Churches Inc.
Public Health Foundation Enterprises Inc. / California Youth Advocacy Network
Sociedad Latina Inc.
The Institute of Medicine and Public Health of New Jersey, Inc. / New Jersey Breathes
University of Kentucky Research Foundation / Kentucky Center for Clean Indoor Air Policy
Whitman-Walker Clinic Inc.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, based in Princeton, N.J., is the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care. It concentrates its grantmaking in four goal areas: to assure that all Americans have access to quality health care at reasonable cost; to improve the quality of care and support for people with chronic health conditions; to promote healthy communities and lifestyles; and to reduce the personal, social and economic harm caused by substance abuse—tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs.