OLYMPIA - June 18, 2001 - Ten anti-tobacco programs each received a $500 grant to expand their tobacco prevention efforts, Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced. Each grant is part of a $5,000 award Gregoire received in 2001 from the American Legacy Foundation for her leadership in the 1998 settlement against the nation's largest tobacco companies.
The grants were made in Gregoire's name to Toledo Middle School SADD Chapter, Tobacco Free Skagit County Youth Council, Tobacco Free Thurston County - SPLAT, Lummi Tribe Peer Educators, El Centro De La Raza, Tobacco Free Benton County - SHOUT, Bremerton/Kitsap Health District (STAND), SafeHaven, Youth Leadership Spokane, and the Washington Alliance for Tobacco Control and Children's Health (WATCH).
The Foundation annually recognizes one or more individuals who advance the work of tobacco control, and the honor includes a donation in the winner's name to a youth tobacco prevention organization. Gregoire chose to disperse the award among several "small groups doing big things" to promote the health and well being of young people.
Tobacco Free Skagit County Youth Council has been active in developing public service announcements to prevent smoking and encourage smokers to quit. Many of the young people on the council have been conducting peer education classroom presentations within their school districts, and others assembled Quit Kits for distribution at the local mall.
Tobacco Free Thurston County's SPLAT (Students Protesting Lies About Tobacco) program plans to develop an advertising campaign to target high-risk youth and help them quit smoking via newspaper advertisements, flyers, "Quit Kits," and cessation classes. They will also be creating 10-12 community education infomercials for broadcast on TCTV.
The Lummi project will involve working with youth to build knowledge of tobacco prevention, provide training opportunities, and develop skills and self-confidence in public speaking. The peer educators will provide education sessions at Lummi Tribal School and Eagle Ridge Elementary School and plan a poster contest to coincide with the Great American Smokeout at the Lummi Tribal School. Two youths will also attend the Washington State Department of Health Youth Tobacco Conference under the grant.
Toledo's SADD chapter plans to hold a contest in which students in kindergarten through eighth grade will create illustrations of the slogan "Don't try it … not even once." The winning illustration will then be used on the billboard, which will be created by the high school shop class and displayed in downtown Toledo.
SafeHaven provides education about bullying, drugs, alcohol and tobacco to Toppenish youths. The grant will allow the center to expand its educational efforts and facilitate the production of Spanish-language anti-tobacco information.
El Centro De La Raza will use the grant to educate its staff and youth about the harmful effects of tobacco. Beneficiaries include the Minority Outreach Program, Hope for Youth Poetry, History Leadership Programs, and the after-school program.
Youth Leadership Spokane plans to survey the location of tobacco advertisements at local retailers and use that information in their education efforts. They also will use the Legacy grant to raise awareness about the amount of smoking in movies.
Students in the SHOUT program will produce an anti-smoking public service announcement. The students participate in a variety of events throughout the year to increase awareness of the dangers of tobacco use among their peers, and the public service announcement they aired on the local MTV channel last year received a strong positive response.
The WATCH grant will provide scholarships for students attending the upcoming Youth Tobacco Conference later this month.