Baton Rouge – The Department of Health and Hospitals’ Tobacco Control Program issued a request for proposals recently to award three $30,000 grants to counter pro-tobacco influences on 18-24 year olds inLouisiana.

 Proposed projects should address tobacco-related disparities such as prevalence of tobacco use, second-hand smoke exposure, relapse rates, access to prevention and cessation programs and tobacco industry marketing. The projects should target people between the ages of 18 and 24 years.

 According to Gerrelda Davis, Interim Director of the Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health, the funds are specifically aimed at developing community-based interventions for young people entering the workforce or vocational, community and trade schools. 

“It is important to address tobacco prevention and cessation among this age group because these young people are particularly vulnerable tobacco industry marketing,” said Davis. “Currently, 28 percent of these young people are smokers and more than 30 percent are uninsured. This means that they have limited access to health care and tobacco cessation interventions.”

 Eligible project types include those that create partnerships that sustain and maximize funding to address tobacco disparities. Projects that educate community leaders and organizations about tobacco disparities are eligible, as well as projects that aid grassroots networks in developing marketing campaigns to increase awareness of tobacco disparities.

 The grant funds will be distributed in three different regions of the state based on the applicant’s description of the impact of tobacco on the target population.

 Organizations must submit a letter of intent by April 22, 2008, to apply. Letters of intent should be mailed to: 

 Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals

Attn: Mark A. Perry, Disparities Program Monitor

Tobacco Control Program

P.O. Box 3118

Baton Rouge, LA 70821

To download the request for proposals, visit www.latobaccocontrol.com. The deadline for grant applications is May 23, 2008.  For more information, contact Mark Perry at (225) 342-2673 or e-mail at mperry2@dhh.la.gov.

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