$9.7M Anti-Smoking Campaign From Utah Health Department Focuses on Minorities
The Utah Department of Health in November began a $9.7 million anti-smoking media campaign targeting Hispanics and other minorities, who have higher smoking rates than whites in the state, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. State data show that 12.3% of Hispanics, 19.7% of American Indians and Alaska Natives, and 22.9% of blacks smoked tobacco in 2005. According to the American Lung Association, Utah has the lowest smoking rates in the U.S.; state data show that 11.7% of all Utah adults smoked in 2005. The anti-smoking campaign calls for "creating coalitions of anti-tobacco advocates, educating community leaders about tobacco, reducing racial disparities and conducting tobacco prevention and cessation activities," according to the Tribune. Lena Dibble, of the state's Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, said the campaign chose to start with the Hispanic population because it has more established media forums, such as Spanish speaking radio and television stations, than other minorities in the state. Dibble said, "The department wants Latinos to know we're ready to help whenever they're ready to quit," and added, "We want to get to people before they start using tobacco" (Hamilton, Salt Lake Tribune, 1/10).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.