Community Foundation announces grant opportunities

December 16, 2016

Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan is accepting grant applications for the winter 2017 grant cycles of its Community Impact, Youth Advisory Council and Tobacco Grants. 

Eligibility: All non-profit agencies with a 501(c)(3) IRS designation, schools, churches (for non-religious purposes) and government agencies in the counties of Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Presque Isle counties are invited to apply.

  • Community Impact Grants are for a broad range of projects and programs. The maximum grant request amount is $5,000. Mini-grants of up to $1,000 are also available.
  • Youth Advisory Council Grants are for projects benefiting youth under the age of 18. The maximum request amount for YAC Grants is $2,500. Mini-grants of up to $500 are available as well.
  • Tobacco Grants are for projects and programs that address tobacco-related issues including smoking prevention and cessation programs. Applicants may request up to $3,000 through the Tobacco Grant.

Applications are available at Applicants may also call the Community Foundation office for more information at 1-877-354-6881.

Deadline: The deadline for all three grant opportunities is Jan. 16, 2017.


Only Two States Meet CDC Guidelines for Tobacco Prevention Spending: Report

December 16, 2013

Alaska and North Dakota are the only states that will meet 2014 recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for spending on programs to prevent youth from starting to smoke, and helping current smokers quit, according to a new reportby advocacy groups.

Most states will fail to meet the CDC guidelines despite billions of dollars received from tobacco taxes and settlements with tobacco manufacturers more than a decade ago, The New York Times reports.

The groups, including the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Lung Association, estimate that states will earn $25 billion in tobacco-related revenue next year, including $7 billion from settlements between tobacco companies and states. Of that total, states are expected to spend just $481 million on tobacco prevention programs. The CDC has recommended states spend $3.7 billion.

In 2002, states spent a total of $750 million on tobacco prevention efforts, the article notes.

States receiving tobacco company money have discretion about how to spend it, and many have chosen to use the funds for unrelated public policy initiatives. In 2014, more than 40 states and the District of Columbia will not spend even half of the amount recommended by the CDC for smoking cessation and prevention programs.

“It is public health malpractice that the states are spending so little on tobacco prevention programs despite having so much evidence that these programs work to save lives and save money,” Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said in anews release. “To win the fight against tobacco, elected officials at all levels must step up efforts to implement proven solutions, including well-funded tobacco prevention programs.”


Products Like E-cigarettes, Hookahs and Cigars Gaining Popularity Among Teens

November 15, 2013

The use of emerging tobacco products like e-cigarettes, hookahs (or water pipes) and cigars increased among teens in 2012, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At the same time, there was no significant decline in cigarette smoking or overall tobacco use among U.S. middle and high school students.

The new data, taken from the CDC’s 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), was highlighted in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Recent electronic cigarette use rose among middle school students from 0.6 percent in 2011 to 1.1 percent in 2012, and among high school students from 1.5 percent to 2.8 percent. Hookah (or water pipe) use among high school students rose from 4.1 percent to 5.4 percent from 2011 to 2012.

The report notes that the increase in the use of electronic cigarettes and hookahs could be due to an increase in marketing, availability, and visibility of these tobacco products and the perception that they may be safer alternatives to cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes, hookahs, cigars and certain other new types of tobacco products are not currently subject to FDA regulation. FDA has stated it intends to issue a proposed rule that would deem products meeting the statutory definition of a “tobacco product” to be subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Another area of concern in the report is the increase in cigar use among certain groups of middle and high school students. During 2011-2012, cigar use increased dramatically among non-Hispanic black high school students from 11.7 percent to 16.7 percent, and has more than doubled since 2009. Further, cigar use among high school males in 2012 was 16.7 percent, similar to cigarette use among high school males (16.3 percent).

“This report raises a red flag about newer tobacco products,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Cigars and hookah tobacco are smoked tobacco – addictive and deadly. We need effective action to protect our kids from addiction to nicotine.”

In their press release, CDC notes that the cigars category includes little cigars, many of which look almost exactly like cigarettes but are more affordable to teens because they are taxed at lower rates and can be sold individually, rather than by the pack. Little cigars also can be made with fruit and candy flavors that are banned from cigarettes. A CDC study published last month showed more than one in three (35.9 percent) middle and high school students who smoke cigars use flavored little cigars.

“A large portion of kids who use tobacco are smoking products other than cigarettes, including cigars and hookahs, which are similarly dangerous”, said Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H., director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “As we close in on the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s report on the dangers of smoking, we need to apply the same strategies that work to prevent and reduce cigarette use among our youth to these new and emerging products.”

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, killing more than 1,200 Americans every day. More than 8 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. Each day, more than 2,000 youth and young adults become daily smokers. Smoking-related diseases cost Americans $96 billion a year in direct health care expenses, much of which come in taxpayer-supported payments.

To read more about e-cigarettes, read a blog written by CADCA’s tobacco expert Alicia Smith, MPH earlier this year:


New York City Officials Approve Raising Tobacco Purchase Age to 21

October 31, 2013

In a victory for public health advocates, the New York City Council voted this week to approve raising the legal age that people can purchase tobacco to 21. The news was reported by CNN.

In addition to the “Tobacco 21” bill, which includes electronic cigarettes, the council also approved a second bill, “Sensible Tobacco Enforcement.” It will prohibit discounts on tobacco products and increase enforcement on vendors who attempt to evade taxes.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has 30 days to sign the bills into law. Given his previous support, that is likely to happen soon.

“By increasing the smoking age to 21, we will help prevent another generation from the ill health and shorter life expectancy that comes with smoking,” Bloomberg said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Tobacco 21” will take effect 180 days after it is enacted, according to the council’s news release.
New York City has now become the largest city to have an age limit as high as 21. Needham, Massachusetts, raised the sale age to 21 in 2005, according to the New York City Department of Health.

Neighboring states and counties have raised the tobacco sale age to 19, including New Jersey in 2005, the Department of Health said.

Raising the sales age “will protect teens and may prevent many people from ever starting to smoke,” Health Commissioner Thomas A. Farley, said in a statement after the vote.


Flavored Cigarettes and Little Cigars Used by More Than 40 Percent of Middle and High School Smokers

October 29, 2013

More than two out of every five middle and high school students who smoke report using either flavored little cigars or flavored cigarettes, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. This article, using data from the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), is the first to measure how many American youth are using flavored little cigars and flavored cigarettes.

The study also shows that among youth cigar smokers, almost 60 percent of those who smoke flavored little cigars are not thinking about quitting tobacco use, compared with just over 49 percent among all other cigar smokers.
“Flavored or not, cigars cause cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and many other health problems. Flavored little cigars appeal to youth and the use of these tobacco products may lead to disfigurement, disability, and premature death,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. ”We need to take comprehensive steps to reduce all tobacco use for all of our youth.”
The study found that 35.4 percent of current youth cigarette smokers reported using flavored cigarettes, which could include menthol cigarettes or flavored little cigars that students mistook for flavored cigarettes. In 2009, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act was enacted and prohibited the use of flavors, except menthol, in cigarettes. However, flavored little cigars are still manufactured and sold with candy and fruit flavorings.

“Little cigars contain the same toxic and cancer-causing ingredients found in cigarettes and are not a safe alternative to cigarettes,” said Tim McAfee, MD, MPH, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “Many flavored little cigars appear virtually indistinguishable from cigarettes with similar sizes, shapes, filters, and packaging.”

In addition to offering a wide variety of flavors that appeal to young people, little cigars are taxed at a lower rate than cigarettes at the state level. Little cigars have become more popular in recent years; sales increased 240 percent from 1997 to 2007, with flavored brands making up almost 80 percent of the market share.

Earlier this month, Dr. Gary Giovino, a University of Buffalo, SUNY professor, authored a guest post on CADCA’s Blog about the findings of a recent study on menthol cigarette use among young people. Click here to read “Menthol Cigarettes: More Sweetening, Same Poisons”.


Electronic Cigarette Use Among Middle and High School Students

October 28, 2013


Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are battery-powered devices that provide doses of nicotine and other additives to the user in an aerosol. Depending on the brand, e-cigarette cartridges typically contain nicotine, a component to produce the aerosol (e.g., propylene glycol or glycerol), and flavorings (e.g., fruit, mint, or chocolate) (1). Potentially harmful constituents also have been documented in some e-cigarette cartridges, including irritants, genotoxins, and animal carcinogens (1). E-cigarettes that are not marketed for therapeutic purposes are currently unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and in most states there are no restrictions on the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Use of e-cigarettes has increased among U.S. adult current and former smokers in recent years (2); however, the extent of use among youths is uncertain.

Data from the 2011 and 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), a school-based, pencil-and-paper questionnaire given to U.S. middle school (grades 6–8) and high school (grades 9–12) students, were used to estimate the prevalence of ever and current (≥1 day in the past 30 days) use of e-cigarettes, ever and current (≥1 day in the past 30 days) use of conventional cigarettes, and use of both. NYTS consists of a cross-sectional, nationally representative sample of students in grades 6–12 from all 50 states and the District of Columbia (3).

During 2011–2012, among all students in grades 6–12, ever e-cigarette use increased from 3.3% to 6.8% (p<0.05) (Figure); current e-cigarette use increased from 1.1% to 2.1% (p<0.05), and current use of both e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes increased from 0.8% to 1.6% (p<0.05). In 2012, among ever e-cigarette users, 9.3% reported never smoking conventional cigarettes; among current e-cigarette users, 76.3% reported current conventional cigarette smoking.

Among middle school students, ever e-cigarette use increased from 1.4% to 2.7% during 2011–2012 (p<0.05) (Figure); current e-cigarette use increased from 0.6% to 1.1% (p<0.05), and current use of both e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes increased from 0.3% to 0.7% (p<0.05). In 2012, among middle school ever e-cigarette users, 20.3% reported never smoking conventional cigarettes; among middle school current e-cigarette users, 61.1% reported current conventional cigarette smoking.

Among high school students, ever e-cigarette use increased from 4.7% to 10.0% during 2011–2012 (p<0.05) (Figure); current e-cigarette use increased from 1.5% to 2.8% (p<0.05), and current use of both e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes increased from 1.2% to 2.2% (p<0.05). In 2012, among high school ever e-cigarette users, 7.2% reported never smoking conventional cigarettes; among high school current e-cigarette users, 80.5% reported current conventional cigarette smoking.

E-cigarette experimentation and recent use doubled among U.S. middle and high school students during 2011–2012, resulting in an estimated 1.78 million students having ever used e-cigarettes as of 2012. Moreover, in 2012, an estimated 160,000 students who reported ever using e-cigarettes had never used conventional cigarettes. This is a serious concern because the overall impact of e-cigarette use on public health remains uncertain. In youths, concerns include the potential negative impact of nicotine on adolescent brain development (4), as well as the risk for nicotine addiction and initiation of the use of conventional cigarettes or other tobacco products.

CDC and the Food and Drug Administration will continue to explore ways to increase surveillance and research on e-cigarettes. Given the rapid increase in use and youths’ susceptibility to social and environmental influences to use tobacco, developing strategies to prevent marketing, sales, and use of e-cigarettes among youths is critical.


Early Puberty Linked To Higher Substance Use Throughout Adolescence

October 24, 2013

A new University of Texas at Austin study reveals that teens who begin puberty early and who have rapid pubertal development are at greater risk for experimenting with cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana.

The study, “Perceived Pubertal Timing and Recent Substance Use Among Adolescents: A Longitudinal Perspective,” was conducted by public health researcher Jessica Duncan Cance and colleagues from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It was published in the October issue of the journal Addiction.

Cance, an assistant professor in the College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, examined how an adolescent’s perceived physical pubertal development (early, on-time or late compared with peers of the same age) is associated with the use of cigarettes, alcohol or marijuana. She surveyed 11- to 17-year-olds about their substance use during the prior three months.

The study included almost 6,500 male and female adolescents of varying racial and ethnic backgrounds. Participants’ perceived pubertal timing was measured with the Pubertal Development Scale (PDS) as part of a larger school-based survey. The PDS contains five questions each for male and female adolescents concerning body hair growth, skin changes, height, voice and facial hair growth for boys, and breast development and menstruation for girls.

Although puberty typically begins between the ages of nine and 10, there is wide variation in the onset of puberty as well as how long it takes adolescents to complete puberty. Results from this sample corroborate national estimates of pubertal timing; for example, girls report developing earlier than boys and non-white adolescents report developing earlier than white adolescents.

The research was inspired by a gap in the current understanding of the cultural context of puberty. “While puberty is often thought of as a solely biological process, our research has shown that pubertal development is a combination of biological, psychological and social processes that all likely interact to influence risk-taking behavior like substance use,” said Cance.

Decades of research have been devoted to the psychological and social factors that make adolescents more prone to substance use, but relatively little is known about how the perception of pubertal timing could play a role, said Cance.

“We all go through puberty,” she said. “We remember it being either an easy transition or a very difficult one. Our study suggests that being the first girl in the class to need a bra, for example, prompts or exacerbates existing psychological and social aspects that can, in turn, lead to substance use and other risky behaviors early in life.”

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