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Friday, July 14, 2000

Grants boost
efforts against
teen smoking

By Star-Bulletin Staff


A state campaign to discourage youths from smoking has received a $75,000 boost from the American Legacy Foundation.

The money was awarded to the University of Hawaii's Cancer Research Center to develop a plan for a statewide youth movement against tobacco.

Hawaii is one of 18 states and the District of Columbia to receive grants totaling $35 million in the largest effort mounted to motivate teens not to smoke.

Dr. Karen Glanz, Cancer Research Center scientist, leads a multiagency project called the Hawaii Youth Movement Against Tobacco Use. The program is one of only seven selected from among 16 states that applied for planning grants to build programs.

Grants will be matched by the states. Hawaii's award will be matched by tobacco settlement funds as part of the state Health Department's commitment to the multi-agency effort to curtail youth tobacco use.

Glanz said: "We have a great deal to learn from your youth and look forward to working alongside them to build a healthier tobacco-free community."

Deputy Health Director Virginia Pressler said, "Our youth have been effectively manipulated and enticed for years to smoke." The grant will empower them to develop a plan to eliminate tobacco from their lives, she said.

Partners in the project will be the DOH Tobacco Prevention and Education Program, the Coalition for Tobacco Free Hawaii, the state Department of Education's Peer Education Program, the Coalition for Drug Free Hawaii and other agencies and organizations.

A yearlong planning process will include convening an advisory board, assessing needs and developing a program plan. A statewide communications network will be created, using the Internet, mailings, faxes, conference calls and meetings to solicit suggestions from youth and the public.

The planning project is expected to lead to a three-year grant to develop a major youth tobacco prevention program, with funding ranging from $1.5 million to $3 million.

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