Circle Park Behavioral Health Services and the Florence County Coalition for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention announced the successful end of the Smoke Free Florence project and detailed its numerous accomplishments at a press conference on March 27 at 619 Gregg Avenue on the Circle Park BHS campus.
The Florence County Coalition and its fiscal agent and managing partner, Circle Park Behavioral Health Services, received a $2.1 million grant in the summer of 2010 to educate youth about the dangers of tobacco use and second hand smoke exposure, assist municipalities and school districts to enact smoke free and tobacco free policies, and offer cessation resources to residents of Florence County.
“When we first met nearly two years ago and announced the awarding of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) project, I knew that it would not only be an exciting time but also a very daunting task to successfully complete,” states Randy Cole, CEO of Circle Park Behavioral Health Services.
“Today I am very proud to say as a result of the hard work of the Florence County Coalition, the Tobacco Issues Task Force, the Smoke Free Florence Coalition and staff and supporting partners, we have achieved great success on all of the project's objectives. As a result, our youth and the community as a whole now have a greater opportunity to lead healthy and tobacco free lives.” Cole continued “Today we do not view this as the end of the project or just a celebration of its accomplishments, but as a new beginning as we work toward providing education, support and resources to ensure that everyone in Florence county has the opportunity to live and work in an environment free from the consequences of tobacco use and second hand smoke.”
“We are most appreciative to have been a part of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) project, said Richard Sale, chairman of the Florence County Coalition for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention stated.
“The Florence County Coalition and Circle Park Behavioral Health Services have been addressing tobacco prevention in our community for nearly 20 years and have successfully lowered our county's youth rates of tobacco use significantly, well below the national and state average. The CPPW project allowed us to enhance our successful efforts and broaden its focus to include the adoption and implementation of smoke free ordinances and policies, educate the community on the consequences of second hand smoke and provide cessation resources to those wanting to quit smoking.”
Sale continued, “We have achieved great success in all of these areas and I would like to thank the Florence community and our collaborative partners for all of their support in successfully meeting the project's goals. We hope as we now move forward and work to reduce the negative consequences of tobacco use in our community that you will continue to support the Florence County Coalition and Tobacco Issues Task Force in their efforts.”
The major accomplishments of the CPPW Project included:
• 28 churches have adopted tobacco free campus policies
• 30 physicians’ practices were trained in “2As+R” referral process
• All 5 Florence County school districts have adopted tobacco free campus policies
• Nearly 100 teens were trained in peer to peer tobacco prevention training
• 3 Florence County municipalities adopted smoke free ordinances
• Francis Marion University and Florence Darlington Technical College have integrated “2As+R” into their medical curriculums
• More than 1700 calls came into the South Carolina Quitline
• 11 law enforcement agencies were trained in Smoke Free Ordinance and Policies
• 61 stores were contacted in regards to tobacco advertising
• Established social networking in support of tobacco free policies including website, Facebook and Twitter.
A strategic planning meeting of the Florence County Coalition and the newly established Tobacco Issues Task Force followed the press conference.
For more information or for questions, contact Clyde Nance at Circle Park Prevention Services at 843-669-8087.