Introducing a Latino Voice Into the Debate on Substance Abuse Treatment

From mid-1998 to early 2001, the Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention (LCAT), Washington, worked to strengthen the involvement of Latino groups in addressing alcohol and tobacco issues and produced a directory of Hispanic/Latino experts, advocates and community-based organizations working on tobacco, alcohol and other substance abuse issues.

By 2020, Latino children will comprise approximately 20 percent of all U.S. children. About one third of Latino teens smoke (34% of boys, 33% of girls) and more than half (54%) report current alcohol use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alcohol consumption is higher among adult Hispanics than any other group, including whites.

Key Results

  • LCAT:

    • Represented Latino and minority concerns at several leading tobacco- and alcohol-control organizations, often serving as the only minority representative at these meetings.
    • Organized other minority groups to press for inclusion of minority concerns in national tobacco-control legislation.
    • Encouraged national Latino organizations to include tobacco and alcohol issues in their work.
    • Trained more than 200 Latinos on tobacco-control issues as part of a project to build a Hispanic/Latino Tobacco Prevention and Control Network.
    • Increased Latino involvement in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) national programs on alcohol and tobacco, including: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, SmokeLess States® and Reducing Underage Drinking Through Coalitions.
    • Created a directory of Latinos working on alcohol, tobacco and other drug issues.