261213 Engaging community leaders and youth in promoting smoke-free policies for outdoor parks

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 1:30 PM - 1:50 PM

Nicole Coxe , Public Health Department, Santa Clara County, San Jose, CA
Janie Burkhart, MPH , Public Health Department, Santa Clara County, San Jose, CA
Whitney Webber, MS , Epidemiology & Data Management Unit, Santa Clara County Public Health Department, San Jose, CA
Tonya Veitch, BS , California Youth Advocacy Network (CYAN), Sacramento, CA
Mariah Lafleur, MPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
INTRODUCTION. Creating smoke-free outdoor areas, including parks and trails, is one of the most effective approaches to eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke. To protect residents in Santa Clara County (SCC) from secondhand smoke exposure, we involved community leaders and youth champions to promote adoption of smoke-free policies for outdoor parks.

METHODS. We tracked policies across all 15 cities in SCC—most receive mini-grants and/or technical assistance to pursue tobacco prevention policies. We conducted interviews with program staff/contractors and reviewed city council agendas/minutes to document policy change strategies. To examine the impact of engaging community leaders and youth in policy work on their knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs, we conducted pre and post surveys.

RESULTS. Four cities prior to CPPW restricted smoking in all or some recreation areas, and an additional six through CPPW adopted 100% tobacco-free and smoke-free policies or smoking restrictions in picnic areas, skate parks, trails and other recreation areas. Funding cities, collaborative jurisdictional partnerships, strong policy champions, engagement with supporters and opponents, and the youth voice facilitated policy adoption. Baseline data indicate that: (1) Youth leaders understood risks of secondhand smoke, but did not have meaningful opportunities to improve community health prior to CPPW, and (2) Community leaders saw a need to leverage existing efforts and relationships to influence change, encourage collaboration across multiple sectors, and communicate cost benefits associated with policy change.

DISCUSSION. With CPPW, we identified promising practices, including engaging youth and community leaders, for other jurisdictions to successfully implement smoke-free outdoor parks.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify strategies for creating smoke-free parks. 2. Understand factors that support implementation of smoke-free parks. 3. Describe ways to overcome potential challenges for engaging and sustaining youth and community leaders in policy change.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a health educator in the tobacco prevention field for 12 years. I have been the primary lead on our Communities Putting Prevention to Work smoke-free parks initiative from the start of the project nearly two years ago. My work has included tracking and reporting on a number of evaluation measures relating to both policy adoption and implementation process and outcomes.
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.