Coalition to receive anti-tobacco funds
A new coalition has been formed to channel money from Indianaâ€™s share of the tobacco settlement into smoking prevention and cessation programs.
Also, local anti-smoking efforts are expected to receive a major boost in the form of a $90,000 grant from the Welborn Foundation.
The Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency is preparing to release $7.5 million a year for the next two years to fund existing and new statewide anti-tobacco programs.
Vanderburgh County will receive $234,900 a year, while Warrick Countyâ€™s share will be $64,500 annually, according to Johnny Kincaid of Smokefree Indiana.
â€œWe can work with some existing programs that we know are effective and develop new programs that follow guidelines that have been effective elsewhere,â€ Kincaid said.
The coalition to channel settlement funds will be called Tobacco Free Vanderburgh County. It includes representatives from the University of Evansville, ECHO Community Health Care, Youth Resources, St. Maryâ€™s Medical Center, Deaconess Hospital, the Evansville Black Coalition and RESPECT Minority Health Coalition.
Kincaid said Drug Free Warrick County will make decisions on spending in Warrick County with technical assistance provided by Smokefree Indiana and UE.
Kincaid said the coalition has also been notified that it will receive $90,000 from the Welborn Foundation in smoking cessation assistance.
The money will be used for stop smoking classes and incentives, such as discounts on nicotine patches, and to launch a major marketing campaign in January designed to motivate people to kick the habit.
The Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency is also gearing up for a major anti-smoking marketing campaign that will include radio, television, print and billboard ads.
Executive Director Karla Sneegas said the $7 million campaign, also funded with tobacco settlement dollars, will begin this fall using existing campaigns that have been successful in other states.
â€œNext spring we will do more of an Indiana-specific campaign. We getting ready to do the research on that now,â€ Sneegas said.