The Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge

The Breathe Free Committee is excited to share that Cleveland was recently selected as one of six Innovator Cities for the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge!

The Challenge is a partnership between the Aetna Foundation, the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Counties and is being administered by CEOs For Cities. 

A total of more than $1.5 million in prizes will be awarded to small to medium-sized cities, counties, and federally recognized tribes who are able to make a positive health impact over the course of the two year competition. Cleveland has been awarded $10,000 for the first phase of the competition, and will have the opportunity to earn more as we advance in the competition. 

Cleveland will be focusing on promoting healthy behaviors and reducing air pollutants through the implementation of a Breathe Free CLE: A Comprehensive Tobacco Reduction Strategy. 

Nationally, the rates of adult smokers have decreased overall to 16% in the last several years. However, Cleveland’s rate of adults who smoke is nearing 36% in 2016. Given that 90% of tobacco users begin smoking in adolescence, it is critical to address youth as well as adults as a part of our complete strategy for the city.

We will use a socioecological approach for addressing the health behavior of tobacco use in Cleveland. For sustainable behavioral changes to occur, interventions must be provided at every level of influence: Individual (person), Interpersonal (relationships), Organizational (Systems and institutions), Community (collaboratives and coalitions), and Policy (at organization, city, state and federal levels).
The Healthy Cleveland Initiative and the Cleveland Department of Public Health are partnering with the member organizations of the Breathe Free Committee to collectively take on this challenge! 

Learn more about the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge:

NACCHO Point of Sales Capacity Building Award

The Cleveland Department of Public Health was recently awarded a grant from the National Association of County and City Health Officials to learn about tobacco retail point-of-sale strategies and develop a one year action plan in Cleveland. By working with the Office of Minority Health and other community partners we will be assessing roughly 60 tobacco retailers to identify common point of sale strategies that disproportionately affect our Cleveland residents. Following the assessments a policy and strategy review will be conducted and community feedback will be solicited to make a final report and recommendations to city administration and city council in Spring of 2017. This will be integrated as one of the interventions of the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge. 

World No Tobacco Day!

On May 31st 2016, the Breathe Free Committee members and MomsFirst co-hosted an awareness event that made the connection between the impact of tobacco exposure and infant mortality. One component of this event included utilizing social math to create a telling visual to those passing by the display about the connection between tobacco exposure and infant mortality. One of the most striking facts illuminated was that ‘In 2014, 35 infant deaths in Cuyahoga County that had tobacco exposure as an associated risk factor.’ (Source: Students involved in the Center for Families and children Not on Tobacco program created meaningful artwork making the connection between tobacco exposure and infant death. MomsFirst and other support agencies were on hand to connect participants to resources for maternal health and tobacco cessation. Huge thanks to all of our partners and participants in making this event a success!

To learn more about support to quit using tobacco visit our Ditch Tobacco page!