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American Lung Association of Minnesota shares final grant report
One on one interviews occurred with a wide range of engage community leaders. The cities of Wabasha and Lake City rose to the top as most likely to pass a tobacco policy. The reasons were different however. Lake City rose to the top as they have been a leader in SHIP initiatives and may be perceived to be more progressive or health conscious. Wabasha rose to the top largely because of St Elizabeth’s influence in the community. Across the board they were seen as a key partner and leader in the community.
Electronic cigarettes and chew rose to the top of concerns. Some felt that the problem was minimal or they were not aware of the issue/s.
Store Audits were completed by American Lung Association of Minnesota. The store audits found that the price of cigarettes are lower in Wabasha County than the state and national averages. A policy to address the minimum price of products, particularly cigars. This is an important consideration because it includes flavored cigars such as grape or strawberry. These products are appealing to youth because of their fruit and candy flavors but are accessible because of their low price. Youth are purchasing these products for those reasons but they are also used to smoke marijuana.
The audits also found that electronic cigarettes were only available in 50% of tobacco retailers. This is lower than state and national average. With the availability being low, now is the time to address them. This is best done through indoor air and flavor policies. Given the fact that the tobacco industry is heavily engaged in communities where flavor policies are being discussed you may consider starting with an indoor air policy. This would provide an opportunity to build capacity while impacting use. Results from store audits were placed into Counter Tools and a report will soon be shared on this website.
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Wabasha County SHIP has contracted with the American Lung Association of Minnesota (ALAMN) and its staff has obtained tobacco licensing information for communities in Wabasha County.
The following will be addressed during this grant cycle...
To build support for Point of Sale (POS) policy change in Wabasha County.
To educate and engage the community on tobacco products, youth usage, and other state and community data to support the need for change.
1. ALAMN will work with Wabasha County SHIP staff to raise awareness around the need for POS policy change by:
- Engaging the CLT in determining priority policy initiatives and populations
- Educating the community
- Building the support of community leaders
2. ALAMN will submit a monthly report to Wabasha County identifying progress, barriers and success stories.
3. ALAMN will provide tracking of all work including a database of community members met through one on ones and presentations.