Think Kids partners with Cabell-Huntington Health Department to study tobacco-use prevention methods

PRESS RELEASE:

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Think Kids is kicking off a project to assess how tobacco use is prevented and treated in Cabell, Kanawha, Lincoln, and Mason Counties.

The “Teaming Up Against Tobacco: Building a Community-Based Collaborative Approach” project entails a comprehensive assessment of how communities are preventing and addressing tobacco use at the community level.

“In 2018, the West Virginia Legislature slashed the state Department of Health and Human Resources’ Division of Tobacco Prevention to zero. That number now sits at around $445,000.00. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that our state spend $27.4 million on tobacco cessation and prevention,” said Kelli Caseman, Think Kids’ Executive Director. “We want to learn what tobacco prevention and cessation looks like in small and large communities in our state— how they’re funded, implemented, and utilized. Is that $445,000 being utilized in our communities? This project is a first start in collecting the necessary data to improve how we address tobacco use, from the ground up.”

Partnering with Think Kids on this project is the Cabell-Huntington Health Department. It facilitates a number of tobacco prevention and cessation programs, as well as hosts and directs the Cabell County Coalition for A Tobacco-Free Environment.

Our agency is committed to reducing high rates of tobacco use in our county. We have dedicated staff available to provide tobacco education and resources to the community. We look forward to this wonderful opportunity to work with Think Kids to identify key stakeholders in our county to address tobacco-related issues. Together, we can make a difference.”  said Elizabeth Adkins, Administrator for Cabell-Huntington Health Department.

Beginning this month, the project will launch a series of community surveys and interviews with community stakeholders. This qualitative research will help them collect and analyze information on experiences and ideas from the field, including information from healthcare organizations, schools, and community resource providers. A student from WVU’s School of Public Health, with previous experience working with the Schroeder Institute and the Truth Initiative in Washington DC, will help draft and disseminate the tools with team members. 

Anyone working in these counties who would like to participate in the project is encouraged to contact Think Kids for details.

This project is funded by the Pallottine Foundation of Huntington. Assessment results will be widely shared in January, before the start of the 2024 West Virginia Legislative Session.

About Think Kids

Think Kids is a statewide nonprofit organization that advocates for the health and well-being of West Virginia’s kids. We use data-driven advocacy to ensure that generations of children grow up safe, healthy, and aspire to do great things. A better West Virginia begins with its kids. Visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About the Cabell-Huntington Health Department

The Cabell-Huntington Health Department (CHHD), a local health department, with jurisdiction in Cabell County, WV and the City of Huntington, WV, including that portion of Huntington located in Wayne County, WV serves a population of ~93,000 members. The Cabell-Huntington Health Department realizes a diversified funding model allowing for a nationally accredited, high functioning local public health department. The Cabell-Huntington Health Department has developed the organizational structure to enhance and advance public health within its jurisdiction. 

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