National RWJF SmokeLess States Program Helps New Hampshire Promote Tobacco-Control Efforts
From mid-2001 to mid-2004, the Smoke-Free New Hampshire Alliance, with the American Lung Association as the lead organization, conducted statewide activities to reduce tobacco use, particularly among children and youth.
The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) national program SmokeLess States® National Tobacco Policy Initiative.
Among its achievements are:
- The Smoke-Free New Hampshire Alliance received the New Hampshire Public Health Association's 2003 Friend of Public Health Award.
- Five New Hampshire communities (Colebrook, Columbia, Hampstead, Keene and Randolph) passed local clean indoor air ordinances. Unfortunately, a ruling by the state Supreme Court in August 2003 overturned these ordinances, enforcing preemption. Keene chose to keep its ordinance in place and "on the books," although it was not enforceable. No restaurants in Keene or Colebrook have reverted to allow smoking.
- New Hampshire was unable to achieve its policy goals during its SmokeLess States grant, primarily because of a political environment that was opposed to advancing tobacco prevention and control policy, according to former project director Deborah Hornor.