Columbia, MD – The Howard County Health Department has awarded $15,000 in grants to five local organizations to assist with tobacco/vaping use prevention, education, and cessation outreach efforts, with specific emphasis on populations/groups identified as at risk or having a known health disparity related to tobacco.

“These grants are vital to keeping our kids healthy,” said County Executive Calvin Ball. “In 2020, more than 23% of high school students in the U.S. actively used tobacco. We must educate and empower our young community to avoid or quit tobacco use, which is still a leading cause of preventable death for so many of our residents.” 

“Our COVID-19 response has highlighted that there are communities disproportionately impacted not only by COVID-19, but other health conditions,” said Howard County Health Officer Dr. Maura Rossman. “Tobacco use, and the impacts related to tobacco use and historic targeting of these communities, continues to have implications on many health conditions. The purpose of these grants is to provide an opportunity to foster partnerships that will reach at-risk individuals and improve the overall health of the community.

Grantees awarded include:

  1. Accessible Resources for Independence - Campaign for Tobacco-Free Disability Community will promote and provide referral to smoking cessation resources and services for individuals with disabilities.
  2. Celebration Church - Say No To Smoking project will educate African-American youth and adults about tobacco/vaping and cessation through community engagement and the Prevention Plus evidence-based program.
  3. JustLiving Advocacy, Inc. - Wellness and YOU project will implement grassroots outreach efforts in Elkridge, Jessup, and Savage to educate community members about tobacco/vaping and cessation.
  4. Luminus Network for New AmericansTobacco Awareness in the Youth Latino Community project will promote awareness about tobacco/vaping and cessation in the LatinX community through youth-focused artwork campaign and social media.
  5. Resurrection-St. Paul SchoolTobacco/Vaping Prevention for Students & Parents project will educate middle school students, parents and staff about tobacco/vaping and cessation to reduce initiation of use for tobacco products among youth.

The application review committee included representatives from the Health Department, Howard County General Hospital, and Howard County Department of Community Resources and Services. Prospective grantees were evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • A current non-profit or for-profit group in Howard County;
  • Project plan addressed one of the grant objectives
    • Reduce initiation of use for all tobacco products among youth
    • Increase awareness among adults about youth vaping
    • Promote and provide referral to smoking cessation resources and services
    • Influence social norms and public health policies regarding tobacco products
  • Experience in providing services and engaging with identified communities in public health areas

Funding provided by the Cigarette Restitution Fund Program. More information about the Howard County Health Department Tobacco/Vaping Use Prevention & Cessation Program can be found here or by calling 410-313-6265.

Media Contacts
Lisa M. de Hernández, CCPH, MPIO, Director, Communications & Public Information

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