244320 Cleaner Air, Healthier Communities: Advancing Comprehensive Outdoor Air Policies in Low-Income Communities

Monday, October 31, 2011

Robert Berger, MSJ , Tobacco Control and Prevention Program, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Tonya Gorham, MSW , Tobacco Control and Prevention Program, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Linda Aragon, MPH , Tobacco Control & Prevention Program, County of Los Angeles, Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Mark D. Weber, PhD , Tobacco Control & Prevention Program, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Los Angeles, CA
Tony Kuo, MD, MSHS , County of Los Angeles, Department of Public Health, Office of Senior Health, Los Angeles, CA
The Surgeon General states that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Research measuring air pollution levels at outdoor places where people smoke, including dining areas and parks, found that levels of exposure to secondhand smoke outdoors is comparable to secondhand smoke exposure indoors. Project TRUST implemented the policy adoption model (PAM) to advance comprehensive outdoor air policies in several cities in Los Angeles County, including cities with low income and large minority populations. These cities were targeted as data showed health disparities among residents; hence there was considerable potential to achieve substantive health impact through outdoor, secondhand smoke policies.

The PAM includes the following five phases: community assessment, campaign strategy, coalition building, campaign implementation and policy implementation and enforcement. Community based organizations under Project TRUST implemented this model in two cities with lower SES using public opinion surveys and community outreach approaches including health fairs, community events and culturally sensitive educational presentations to minority groups.

The CBO in the coalition building phase conducted community outreach to groups representing minority communities to recruit coalition members and to educate the public about the need for a comprehensive outdoor air policy. Their efforts resulted in strong coalitions of residents who championed the policy subsequently adopted by the city council.

Strategic community outreach and a strong coalition are essential to advancing smoke-free policies in low-income communities and in communities with large minority populations. Culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach materials and presentations are critical for educating and building community support.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the policy adoption model and its use to adopt smoke-free outdoor air policies in low-income communities. Explain methods used to effectively engage minority groups in policy campaigns. Describe lessons learned and successes in conducting outdoor air policy campaigns in low-income communities.

Keywords: Tobacco Policy, Tobacco Control

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have implemented the Policy Adoption Model in previous work. In my current role and Project Director, I oversee programs and staff that implement policy adoption campaigns.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.