Grants now available to help colleges and universities become 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free campuses

Grants now available to help colleges and universities become 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free campuses

 

WOONSOCKET, R.I., 2017-Sep-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — The CVS Health Foundation, American Cancer Society and Truth Initiative today (Sept. 19, 2017) announced that grants are now available to help U.S. colleges and universities advocate for, adopt and implement 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free campus policies. The grants are part of aggressive efforts by all three organizations to deliver the first tobacco-free generation by accelerating and expanding the number of campuses across the country that prohibit smoking and tobacco use.

The announcement of newly available grants coincides with the awarding of $1.2 million in grants to 126 schools who are working toward a tobacco-free campus policy, the largest number of schools to do so at any one time. Spanning the U.S., the campuses include 43 major academic institutions, including Stanford University and University of Pittsburgh; 34 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) including Howard University; and 49 community colleges. Grantees range from colleges in the early stages of building campus support for going tobacco-free to those that have adopted policies and need support to successfully implement them.

The grants delivered through Truth Initiative and American Cancer Society are part of Be The First, CVS Health’s five-year, $50 million initiative that supports education, tobacco control, and healthy behavior programming with a goal of helping to deliver the nation’s first tobacco-free generation. CVS Health’s efforts targeting college students meet an urgent and critical need. Of the roughly 20 million college and university students in the U.S., more than 1 million have been projected to die prematurely from cigarette smoking.

“We are at a critical moment in our nation’s efforts to end the epidemic of smoking and tobacco use, and expanding the number of tobacco-free college and university campuses is an important step in our efforts,” said Eileen Howard Boone, President of the CVS Health Foundation. “We’re confident our strategy will drive a significant decline in the number of new college-age smokers, and contribute to the progress being made where a tobacco-free generation in the U.S. seems possible.”

With the CVS Health Foundation’s support, the American Cancer Society and Truth Initiative programs help students, faculty and staff develop and execute strategies that are customized to meet the campuses’ unique needs and move the schools toward a 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free environment. Each organization also provides technical assistance and other resources to schools, including education, communications, support to quit smoking and evaluation.

According to a new survey from CVS Health, public support for smoke- and tobacco-free campus policies remains strong. The results released today revealed that three in four Americans (73%) and eight in 10 current U.S. college students (78%) indicated their support for policies that prohibit smoking and other tobacco use on college campuses. At the same time, 57 percent of U.S. college students say a tobacco-free campus is important to them when considering applying to or attending a college. The findings come from a public opinion poll conducted by Morning Consult for CVS Health in August 2017. For more findings, visit www.cvshealth.com/CampusSurvey.

“While we have made great progress driving down the smoking rate to 6 percent among youth, the prevalence of smoking by young adults is 14.2 percent and those who attend college have a higher risk of initiating and experimenting with smoking,” said Robin Koval, CEO and President of Truth Initiative, the national public health organization that directs and funds the truth campaign. “With 99 percent of smokers starting before age 26, college campuses are critical in preventing young adults from starting tobacco use, aiding current smokers in quitting and reducing exposure to secondhand smoke for all. We are thrilled to be working with the CVS Health Foundation to provide grants to minority-serving institutions, HBCUs, and community colleges to give them the tools to go tobacco-free and be the generation that ends smoking.”

“Tobacco is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. Cigarette smoking is responsible for approximately 30 percent of all cancer deaths, killing up to half of its users,” said Gary Reedy, CEO of the American Cancer Society, “By partnering with the CVS Health Foundation to create tobacco-free campus environments, we can reduce youth tobacco exposure, prevent students from becoming addicted, and ultimately, reduce the number of people who get sick and die from cancer and other tobacco-related diseases.”

Since the launch of its tobacco-free college program in 2016, the CVS Health Foundation has awarded more than $3 million in grants to 146 U.S. colleges and universities as part of an ongoing commitment to accelerate and expand the number of 100 percent tobacco-free campuses. The U.S. Department of Education reports there are approximately 4,700 U.S. colleges and universities, many of which have more than one campus. Yet, only 1,611 campuses are 100-percent smoke- and tobacco-free, according to an Americans for Nonsmokers Rights analysis.

To see the full list of colleges supported by these grants and for more information on the grant application process, please visit http://www.cvshealth.com/tobaccofreecampus.

Poll Methodology 
The poll was conducted online by Morning Consult for CVS Health between August 4-7, 2017 among a national sample of 2,880 U.S. adults, with an oversample of current college students and parents of current college students. Margin of error is +/-2 percentage points.

About the CVS Health Foundation
The CVS Health Foundation is a private charitable organization created by CVS Health that works to build healthier communities, enabling people of all ages to lead healthy, productive lives. The Foundation provides strategic investments to nonprofit partners throughout the U.S. who help increase community-based access to health care for underserved populations, create innovative approaches to chronic disease management and provide tobacco cessation and youth prevention programming. We also invest in scholarship programs that open the pathways to careers in pharmacy to support the academic aspirations of the best and brightest talent in the industry. Our philanthropy also extends to supporting our colleagues’ spirit of volunteerism through Volunteer Challenge grants to nonprofits where they donate their time and fundraising efforts. To learn more about the CVS Health Foundation and its giving, visit www.cvshealth.com/social-responsibility.

About The American Cancer Society 
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2 million volunteers saving lives in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society’s efforts have contributed to a 25 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at (800) 227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

About Truth Initiative
Truth Initiative is dedicated to achieving a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco. We speak, seek and spread the truth about tobacco through education, tobacco control research and policy studies, and community activism and engagement. We’ve helped bring teen cigarette use down from 23 percent in 2000 to 7 percent in 2015. We’re proud of that success, but our work won’t stop until we achieve a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco. https://truthinitiative.org/

Media Contacts:

Michael Reich
813-838-8912
michael.reich@cancer.org

Nicole Dueffert
202-454-5589
ndueffert@truthinitiative.org

Mary Gattuso
401-770-9811
mary.gattuso@cvshealth.com

SOURCE: CVS Health Foundation

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Truth Initiative® and CVS Health Foundation to advocate for 100% tobacco-free at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and community colleges

Effort aims to help communities profiled by the tobacco industry

Washington, D.C., 2017-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Truth Initiative® and the CVS Health Foundation are joining together to work with students and administrators at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and community colleges across the country to advocate for, adopt and implement 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free campus policies.

Where you live, who you love, your race, your mental health and financial status play an important role in how hard tobacco companies come after you. For decades, African Americans, low-income neighborhoods, LGBTQ communities and those with mental illness have been disproportionally targeted with advertising and promotional efforts. The “truth x CVS Health Foundation” tobacco-free campus initiative follows the launch of the latest campaign by truth®, #STOPPROFILING, that underscores the fact that tobacco use is more than a public health issue, it’s a social justice issue.

Despite lower youth and young adult smoking rates overall, smoking on college campuses remains a problem in the U.S. Of the 102 federally recognized HBCUs in the country, less than half have smoke-free and/or tobacco-free campus policies. Of the 1,108 community colleges in the U.S., only 360 have 100 percent smoke-free policies in place1.

“With 99 percent of smokers starting before age 27, college campuses are critical to preventing young adults from starting tobacco use, aiding current smokers in quitting and reducing exposure to secondhand smoke for all,” said Robin Koval, CEO and President of Truth Initiative, the national public health organization that directs and funds the truth campaign. “Our partnership aims to counteract the decades of profiling of African Americans and low income communities by Big Tobacco. We are thrilled to be working with the CVS Health Foundation to make smoking and tobacco use a thing of the past on HBCU and community college campuses.”

Since the launch of their tobacco-free college program in 2015, Truth Initiative has awarded funding to 135 colleges. To date, 50 colleges have gone smoke- or tobacco-free (40 community colleges and 10 HBCU’s).

The “truth x CVS Health Foundation” tobacco-free campus initiative is part of CVS Health’s Be The First campaign, the company’s five year, $50 million commitment to helping deliver the nation’s first tobacco-free generation. CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation have set actionable and measurable goals for Be The First, including a doubling of the number of tobacco-free educational institutions in the United States.

In addition to supporting Truth Initiative to expand technical assistance to support 42 HBCUs and 64 community colleges advance their campus policy effort, the CVS Health Foundation is also working with the American Cancer Society to help 125 colleges advocate for, adopt and implement 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free campuses. Students, faculty and staff at the schools are charged with developing a campus task force, assessing tobacco use on their campus and developing public-education campaigns to support comprehensive tobacco- and smoke-free polices on the campus.

“Today’s young people are a generation with an unyielding commitment to diversity, inclusivity and equality, and that includes making sure health benefits are equally distributed across ethnic and socioeconomic classes,” said David Casey, Chief Diversity Officer at CVS Health. “We’re proud that the CVS Health Foundation is working with Truth Initiative to help HBCUs and community colleges adopt tobacco-free campus policies. Helping more colleges and universities go tobacco-free is an important step in achieving our shared goal of helping to deliver the first tobacco-free generation.”

The tobacco industry has long profiled minority communities, particularly African Americans, with intense advertising and promotional efforts. For example, in major cities like Washington D.C., there are up to ten times more tobacco advertisements in African American neighborhoods than in other neighborhoods. There is a disproportionate health burden of tobacco-related morbidity and mortality among African Americans. Each year, approximately 47,000 African Americans die from smoking-related disease. Research has also shown a clear pattern of targeted marketing in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods. People living below the poverty level in the U.S. are nearly twice as likely to smoke, compared to those at or above the poverty level.

Additional stats on smoking

  • Teen smoking of traditional cigarettes in the U.S. reached a historic low of six percent in 2016, but tobacco still remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
  • Cigarettes cause over 480,000 deaths annually in the U.S.
  • Tobacco kills up to half of its users.
  • LGBTQ young adults, ages 18-24, are nearly twice as likely to smoke as their straight peers.
  • Individuals with mental illness account for up to 46 percent of cigarettes sold in the U.S.
  • People living below the poverty level in the U.S. are nearly twice as likely to smoke, compared to those at, or above, the poverty level.

About Truth Initiative

Truth Initiative is a national public health organization that is inspiring tobacco-free lives and building a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco. The truth about tobacco and the tobacco industry are at the heart of our proven-effective and nationally recognized truth® public education campaign, our rigorous and scientific research and policy studies, and our innovative community and youth engagement programs supporting populations at high risk of using tobacco. The Washington D.C.-based organization, formerly known as Legacy, was established and funded through the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about our work speaking, seeking and spreading the truth about tobacco, visit truthinitiative.org.

About the CVS Health Foundation

The CVS Health Foundation is a private charitable organization created by CVS Health that works to build healthier communities, enabling people of all ages to lead healthy, productive lives. The Foundation provides strategic investments to nonprofit partners throughout the U.S. who help increase community-based access to health care for underserved populations, create innovative approaches to chronic disease management and provide tobacco cessation and youth prevention programming. We also invest in scholarship programs that open the pathways to careers in pharmacy to support the academic aspirations of the best and brightest talent in the industry. Our philanthropy also extends to supporting our colleagues’ spirit of volunteerism through Volunteer Challenge grants to nonprofits where they donate their time and fundraising efforts. To learn more about the CVS Health Foundation and its giving, visit www.cvshealth.com/social-responsibility.

1 This is based on the Smokefree and Tobacco-Free U.S. and Tribal Colleges and Universities list the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation published on April 3, 2017.

Media Contacts:

Nicole Dueffert (Truth Initiative)
202-454-5589

Joe Goode (CVS Health)
401-770-9820

Source: CVS Health