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City Awarded Funding for Tobacco Control, Prevention

For Immediate Release: 8/6/2018 5:08 pm

The City of Worcester Division of Public Health (WDPH) has been awarded $115,000 annually for the next four years by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to prevent nicotine use and improve public health.

The funding, a combination of state and federal dollars, will help local communities establish and maintain comprehensive tobacco control programs based on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Best Practices designed to:

  • Protect youth from exposure to tobacco and vaping industry tactics and prevent youth initiation of tobacco/nicotine use

  • Protect residents from secondhand smoke

  • Ensure all Massachusetts users of tobacco/nicotine have access to cessation resources

  • Identify tobacco-related disparities and target efforts toward those disproportionately affected

“Tobacco control and prevention is a high priority for our City,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. “This additional funding will be a key tool as we continue to do everything we can to protect our community from the dangers of tobacco and nicotine use.”

“As statistics from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health indicate, 99 percent of smokers started before the age of 26 and 88 percent started by age 18,” said Dr. Michael Hirsh, Medical Director for WDPH/Central MA Regional Public Health Alliance. “Improving our overall public health begins with preventing our youth from using and becoming addicted to nicotine.”

The Worcester Division of Public Health (WDPH) is the lead municipality for the Worcester Regional Tobacco Control Collaborative, a coalition of 19 communities. WDPH staff provides oversight of the program which helps with enforcement of state and local laws, provides education and cessation resources as well as policy technical assistance to all Boards of Health within the collaborative.

A press release from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is available here.

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