New Grants Support the Spread of Tobacco Policy Changes to Protect Americans' Health

    • December 14, 2004

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
Anchorage, Alaska
Annette Marley, (907) 743-6110

American Cancer Society Inc., Hawaii Pacific, Inc. / Mauli Ola (Breath of Life)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Deborah Zysman, (808) 595-7500

American Cancer Society Inc., Ohio Division, Inc.
Dublin, Ohio
Tracy Sabetta, (614) 889-9565

American Lung Association of Georgia
Smyrna, Ga.
June Deen, (770) 434-5864

American Lung Association of Illinois-Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa
Katherine Drea, (515) 278-5864

American Lung Association of New Hampshire
Bedford, N.H.
Mindy Sweeney, (603) 669-2411

Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wis.
Patricia McManus, (414) 933-0064

Boys & Girls Club of Northern Arapaho Tribe
Riverton, Wyo.
Glenda Trosper, (307) 856-2637

California Tobacco Control Alliance
Sacramento, Calif.
Kristen Hansen, (916) 554-0390

Center for MultiCultural Health
Seattle, Wash.
Shelley Cooper-Ashford, (206) 461-6910

Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance
Denver, Colo.
Chris Sherwin, (303) 756-6163

Families Under Urban and Social Attack Inc.
Houston, Texas
Helen Stagg, (713) 651-1470

Greater Cleveland Health Education and Service Council
Cleveland, Ohio
Joyce Lee, (216) 851-2171

Kentucky ACTION, Inc.
Louisville, Ky.
Stephanie Uliana, (512) 587-8641

MedChi Foundation Inc.
Baltimore, Md.
Kari Appler, (410) 539-0872

Medical Foundation Inc.
Boston, Mass.
James White, (617) 451-0049

Mille Lacs Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
Onamia, Minn.
Peggy Frisch, (320) 384-0149

Mission City Community Network Inc.
North Hills, Calif.
Nik Gupta, (818) 895-3100

North Carolina Pediatric Society Foundation / NC Alliance for Health
Raleigh, N.C.
Pamela Seamans, (919) 839-1156

Partnership of African American Churches Inc.
Institute, W.Va.
James Patterson, (304) 768-7688

Public Health Foundation Enterprises Inc. / California Youth Advocacy Network
City of Industry, Calif.
Gordon Sloss, (310) 699-7320

Sociedad Latina Inc.
Roxbury, Mass.
Melissa Luna, (617) 442-4299

The Institute of Medicine and Public Health of New Jersey, Inc. / New Jersey Breathes
Lawrenceville, N.J.
Larry Downs, (609) 896-1766

University of Kentucky Research Foundation / Kentucky Center for Clean Indoor Air Policy
Lexington, Ky.
Ellen Hahn, (859) 257-2358

Whitman-Walker Clinic Inc.
Washington, D.C.
Donald Hitchcock, (202) 797-3516


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.