It Takes a Village

5 Simple Steps to Protect Your Community from Tobacco

We’ve seen firsthand how tobacco impacts those around us. Many of our loved ones battle nicotine addiction — and for most, it started in their teen years. The truth is that the tobacco industry has had its hooks in our communities for far too long. It’s up to all of us to fight for the health and safety of the ones we love.

How Can We Protect Our Communities from Tobacco?

The good news? Passionate advocates are already doing incredible things. Across Oklahoma, leaders are taking action, and with the help of TSET grants, they’re making a huge impact. Interested in applying for a TSET grant for your own community? Get more information here.

At its core, protecting our communities from tobacco is about taking action in the places we’ve grown to love. Here are five ways you can fight against tobacco in your own backyard.

convenience stores work to reduce their tobacco sales to underage customers to fight big tobacco

1) Encourage Local Business Owners to Fight Tobacco

In Cherokee County, TSET grantees are working with convenience stores to limit underage tobacco sales and marketing efforts. We know that nearly 1,300 kids under the age of 18 will become new daily smokers this year. Youth smokers are far more likely to develop severe nicotine addiction compared to adults. Eliminating harmful ads that target kids is one simple but powerful way to ensure a smokefree future for your community. Would your favorite gas station be willing to eliminate harmful ads? It’s worth asking!

Place cigarette waste receptacles in high-trafficked areas to fight big tobacco

2) Place Cigarette Receptacles in High-Traffic Areas

Did you know that cigarettes are the most-littered item on the planet? To combat cigarette litter, OKC Beautiful, TSET and the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline partnered to place cigarette waste receptacles all around OKC. These receptacles also include Helpline information. It’s a simple way to clean up the city and provide real help to those trying to quit.

Talk to your local TSET grantee about placing receptacles in your community!

Make your space tobacco-free with Breathe Easy signage to eliminate secondhand smoke.

3) Make Your Space Tobacco Free

Numerous churches, businesses and community centers across the state have gone tobacco free on their premises. In Oklahoma, secondhand smoke kills 700 people a year. Making your space a Breathe Easy zone will not only save lives — it turns out it’s good for businesses, too.

Establishing a Breathe Easy zone is a simple and FREE solution. Download your free Breathe Easy signs here and review the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Breathe Easy zoning standards for implementing clean air in new public spaces.

tobacco-free signage in public spaces, Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, My Life My Quit

4) Promote a Tobacco-Free Lifestyle in Public Spaces

In Tahlequah, the Cherokee County TSET Healthy Living Program placed banners in their park to encourage community members to use free services like The Helpline and My Life, My Quit.

In OKC, city leaders made their parks tobacco free to establish healthy norms for growing kids. Is your local park tobacco free? Could it be?

5) Make Your Business Tobacco Free

With the help of TSET, Daltile in Muskogee made a company-wide decision to go tobacco free for the health of their employees. Check out the positive impact this decision can have on your business.

Small Actions Make a Big Impact

For local communities in Oklahoma, a tobacco-free future is possible. It starts with simple actions that can have a profound impact on our businesses, public spaces and places of worship. Browse more resources and ways to get involved here.

Published by Tobacco Stops With Me on February 23, 2022