Written by The Business Journal Staff
The Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission’s Rural Tobacco Education Program will receive $1.1 million in funding from the California Tobacco Control Program in the California Department of Public Health.
Beginning in July, the program will receive the $1.1 million over five years to build on current tobacco control efforts to reach populations that are still underserved and disproportionately impacted by the effects of tobacco use and secondhand smoke.
“This is a vital program because tobacco usage rates remain high in rural areas,” said Gilda Arreguin, Fresno EOC community services director. “Education and changing public policy for better health outcomes are what we are seeking.”
During the five-year grant term, the program will focus on raising awareness on the importance of smoke-free policies in multi-unit housing complexes in Kerman and Mendota.
There will also be work done in Kingsburg and Huron to educate communities on policy options for smoke-free public areas and entryways with the goal that each of these four cities will adopt and implement policies reflective of these priorities.
As of February 2019, there are 64 jurisdictions in California that have a implemented a strong law that prohibits smoking in multi-unit housing, and the Fresno EOC’s program has assisted property managers, swap meets, farmers markets and other places to become smoke-free.
The Fresno EOC is the largest Community Action Agency in California and one of the largest in the county and been operating the Rural Tobacco Education Program for the last 29 years.