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Grants Awarded to Reduce Tobacco in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (July 27, 2006) - The Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust today announced the award of nearly $2 million in grants to reduce tobacco use among four populations in Oklahoma. Funded with investment earnings from the tobacco settlement endowment, the Addressing Tobacco in Specific Populations grants provide up to $100,000 per year for five years to reduce tobacco use among four identified populations:

  • Rural Health Projects, Inc. based in Enid, will work to prevent smokeless tobacco use among youth in six counties in Northwest Oklahoma.
  • Oklahoma State University Seretean Wellness Center in Stillwater will work to prevent tobacco use and promote cessation among the college students at OSU campuses statewide.
  • Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa will work with youth and adults in low income housing in Tulsa, Creek and Payne counties to prevent tobacco use and promote cessation.
  • Communication Services for the Deaf, based in Tulsa, will provide prevention and cessation services to the deaf and hard of hearing statewide.

"There is no one-size-fits-all program that can adequately meet the diverse needs of Oklahoma's populations," said Tracey Strader, executive director of the endowment. "These new grants will focus their efforts on addressing tobacco use in populations at high risk for tobacco use and tobacco-related disease. Their work will also help our existing Communities of Excellence grantees and other partner organizations to meet the special needs of these populations."

The Addressing Tobacco in Specific Populations program is an important expansion of the programs funded by the tobacco settlement. The program is consistent with the Board of Directors strategic plan that prioritizes funding for programs to reduce Oklahoma's devastating tobacco use problem, and is recommended by the Oklahoma State Plan for Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation.

Training and technical assistance for the program will be provided by the Tobacco Use Prevention Service of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, and assistance with program evaluation will be provided by the University of Oklahoma College Of Public Health, through the Cancer Center Initiative.

For more information on the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust please see: www.tset.ok.gov.