June 27, 2005
HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO USE GRANT MONEY TO FIGHT TOBACCO USE ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES
Charlotte, NC - The Mecklenburg County Health Department plans to help curb tobacco use on area college campuses using a new grant from the American Cancer Society. The primary focus is to form a coalition of local schools to address the issue of tobacco use on campus.
The American Cancer Society Targeted Community Investment Grant Program financially supports state, regional and local projects consistent with the Society’s fight against cancer. More than $445,000 was presented to partners of the Society this year.
"The Targeted Community Investment Grants financially support local projects consistent with the Society’s priorities for health disparities in individual communities," said Patricia P. Hoge, RN, Ph.D., Chief Mission Officer for the American Cancer Society. "Local organizations know the situations in their communities and often recognize the best way to address the issue and the Society is here to help complement that work."
This $8,000 grant, awarded to the Health Department’s Project Assist program, is aimed at reducing the number of new smokers, increasing cessation, and preventing exposure to secondhand smoke.
Young adults, 18 - 24 years old, represent the only age demographic whose tobacco use rates are on the rise. That is why the American Cancer Society and the Health Department have been working to make this population a high priority. Through this program, mini-grants will be given to individual schools who want to form coalitions on their campuses to organize prevention and cessation activities.
"I’m very excited to work with students and staff from our local colleges on preventing tobacco use and limiting exposure to secondhand smoke on campus," says Kate Uslan, coordinator for Project Assist. "I think we will really have a positive impact on the health of our college students."
Twenty-three schools in Mecklenburg and the surrounding counties have joined the Piedmont Area Colleges Task Force. They include UNC-Charlotte, Davidson College, Queens University, Johnson C. Smith University, and Johnson & Wales. The group will meet regularly to discuss what colleges and universities can do to reduce tobacco initiation, help students quit smoking, and lower their exposure to second hand smoke.
For more information, call Kate E. Uslan at the Mecklenburg County Health Department at 704-336-6440. For more information on the American Cancer Society, call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit