Community Profile: Mobile County, Alabama
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Tobacco Use Prevention
“THE SMOKE-FREE AIR POLICY IMPLEMENTED BY THIS CITY WILL PROTECT ALL EMPLOYEES AND CUSTOMERS IN BUSINESS AND OTHER PUBLIC PLACES IN SARALAND FROM THE HARMFUL EFFECTS OF BREATHING SECONDHAND SMOKE.”
— Bernard Eichold, MD, President, Health Officer, Mobile County
“MORE RESTAURANTS AND BARS ARE GOING SMOKE-FREE BECAUSE THEY NOW UNDERSTAND IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO.”
— Brooks, Mobile County resident
Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) is an initiative designed to make healthy living easier by promoting environmental changes at the local level. Through funding awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2010, a total of 50 communities are working to prevent obesity and tobacco use—the two leading preventable causes of death and disability.
Mobile County, Alabama, which is home to nearly 413,000 residents, is tackling tobacco use throughout the community. In 2008, U.S. News & World Report identified the City of Mobile as the fifth-smokiest city in the nation. In Mobile County, the rate of adult smokers (25%) exceeds the national average. Tobacco use among youth is also a concern, as roughly 20% of high school students in Mobile County Public Schools reported using tobacco in the past 30 days. Additionally, 37% of seventh graders, 46% of ninth graders, and 54% of 11th graders in the county reported tobacco use in their lifetimes.
If healthy options are not available, then healthy living is not possible. With the support of the CPPW initiative, Mobile County has implemented a variety of changes throughout the community to make healthy living easier.
To decrease tobacco, Mobile County:
- Collaborated with community partners to promote tobacco cessation services and the state quitline, which contributed to a 15% increase in county resident use.
- Began efforts to work with 200 tobacco retailers to restrict point-of purchase tobacco advertising in their stores.
- Developed the Just Breathe public education initiative to deliver information and resources to Mobile County residents on the ill effects of secondhand smoke exposure and promote smoke-free environments. This initiative has reached residents through the web and a variety of local print media; it soon will be expanded to outdoor advertisements and radio and television spots.
(The list above is a sample of all activities completed by the community.)
The city of Saraland, located in Mobile County, is protecting its more than 13,000 citizens from the dangers of secondhand smoke. As of August 2011, all public indoor places, including restaurants, bars, and work sites, are smoke-free. As part of this initiative, Saraland partnered with the Just Breathe campaign representatives to create a kit to assist 700 businesses with the implementation of new smoke-free regulations. Saraland is the third city in Mobile County to go smoke-free.
The leadership team includes high-level community leaders from multiple sectors, who have the combined resources and capacity to make healthy living easier. Members of Mobile County's leadership team are key agents for change in their community. The leadership team includes representatives from the following organizations:
- Alabama Department of Public Health
- American Cancer Society
- American Lung Association
- City of Chickasaw
- City of Mobile
- City of Saraland
- Leadership Mobile
- Lewis Communications
- Medical Society of Mobile County
- Mobile County Health Department
- Mobile County Public School System
- Providence Hospital
- Saraland City School System
- Steppin' Out Magazine
- Students Working Against Tobacco
- The University of Alabama
- Tobacco-Free Alabama
- University of South Alabama, Mitchell Cancer Institute
- Voices of Alabama's Children
- Page last reviewed: October 25, 2013
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