Department: Health & Environment
Release Date: Nov 21, 2012
The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment was recently awarded $241,000 to restore tobacco prevention and education activities in Larimer County. The Health Department received the maximum amount of available funds for the first year of the grant, with the potential for two additional years of funding.
The 2012 allocation was based on the county’s population, tobacco use, and rate of poverty. The source of the funds is the 2004 voter-approved Amendment 35 tobacco tax. Beginning in 1992, Larimer County received tobacco prevention and education funding from a combination of various national and state grants. In 2005, tobacco prevention funding was shifted to Amendment 35 revenues, but these dollars have been
unavailable to Larimer County for the past three years due to Colorado’s fiscal emergency.
“The restoration of funding is great news for Larimer County since it means we can keep the tobacco-free momentum going,” said Andrea Clement-Johnson, supervisor of the tobacco education and prevention program at the Health Department. “It’s vitally important that we return to the work of eliminating second-hand smoke in public places and educating youth and the public about the health hazards of tobacco. Those efforts can reduce smoking-related illnesses and deaths.”
The grant will support activities of the Tobacco Free Larimer County coalition and a local youth engagement coalition. Other program efforts will be aimed at reducing exposure to secondhand smoke and connecting persons interested in quitting to tobacco cessation resources. Amendment 35 tobacco tax legislation requires that the majority of funds awarded are used for programs that are proven to prevent and reduce tobacco use among youth and young adults.
The Health Department’s partners in local tobacco education and prevention efforts include the Larimer County Workforce Center, Colorado State University, Front Range Community College, the City of Fort Collins, the Boys and Girls Club of Wellington, the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District, Poudre and Thompson School Districts, and other youth-serving agencies.
In Colorado, tobacco use is the leading cause of all preventable deaths, killing an estimated 4,500 people each year—more than all motor vehicle fatalities, suicides, homicides, illegal drug overdoses, alcohol-related deaths, and AIDS combined. Approximately 11.5% of Larimer County residents smoke cigarettes, but about twice as many (23%) of those living in poverty smoke cigarettes.*
For more information on tools to quit smoking, call 970-498-6752 or call the Colorado Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (www.coquitline.org).
*2010 Community Health Survey, Health District of Northern Larimer County.