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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2010

Florence, Horry programs receive grant funding

COLUMBIA- Two community coalitions in Florence and Horry counties will receive grant funding to implement tobacco prevention and control programs as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control announced today.

“This award will provide significant resources to reduce the burden that tobacco use places on Florence and Horry counties, home to some of the highest tobacco use rates in the state,” said Lisa Waddell, M.D., DHEC’s deputy commissioner for Health Services. “We know tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in South Carolina, and this project offers a great opportunity for communities to address this issue.”

Dr. Waddell said the grant award, which includes almost $6 million during the next two years, will be distributed to the Florence County Community Coalition for Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Abuse Prevention and the Horry County BREATHE Coalition to focus on initiatives such as:

  • Educating youth about the dangers of tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure,
  • Helping community and school leaders enact smoke-free and tobacco-free policies,
  • Offering nicotine replacement therapy to Florence and Horry county residents who enroll in S.C. Tobacco Quitline services,
  • Working with the area’s prenatal healthcare providers to reduce smoking during pregnancy.

Currently, 20 percent of S.C. adults smoke, which is in line with the national average but well above the national goal of reducing adult smoking rates to 12 percent by 2010.

Florence and Horry counties are two of 44 communities from across the country selected to take part in the Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative.

“Being chosen for this nationwide effort is a credit to the commitment that the Florence and Horry community coalitions demonstrate to tobacco prevention,” Dr. Waddell said. “Their work will help county residents in making decisions about tobacco use, learn about the dangers of secondhand smoke exposure and assist young people in deciding not to start using tobacco.”

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For more information:
Mary-Kathryn Craft - (803) 545-4466
E-mail - craftmk@dhec.sc.gov
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