Huron County Tobacco Control Alliance

The Huron County Tobacco Control Alliance (HCTCA) has been a leader in the tobacco control movement in northwestern Ohio. This hard working group of individuals represent several organizations that have come together with the mission of reducing youth initiation of tobacco use, reduce adult smoking rates, improving air quality, and improving lung health. Member organizations of the HCTCA include the American Lung Association of Ohio, Fisher-Titus Medical Center, the Fisher-Titus Foundation, Kaiser-Wells Pharmacy and Homecare, the American Cancer Society, Huron County Job & Family Services, and Mercy Hospital of Willard.

A major focus of the HCTCA is reducing environmental tobacco smoke. The alliance promoted smoke-free air by providing recognition certificates to restaurants for being or becoming smoke-free. This has proven to be a creative and inexpensive way to provide positive reinforcement for providing a healthier environment. Each recognition certificate is given out with a small presentation ceremony and a press release is sent to the local newspapers.

Several HCTCA members are also active in the Smoke Free Ohio initiative. Alliance members have helped to gather signatures in an effort to reach the initiative's goal. If enough valid signatures are acquired in support of smoke-free workplaces, the choice will be placed on the ballot in November 2006 and Ohio voters will be able to weigh in on the issue.

The alliance's newest initiative provides support for Huron County schools that are working to adopt 100% Tobacco Free School policies. The 100% Tobacco Free Schools initiative has provided a new forum for community involvement. In promotion of the 100% Tobacco Free Schools initiative, the HCTCA provides a youth tobacco prevention program to the students of Huron County. The coalition members chose American Lung Association of Ohio's Word of Mouth as the program they would provide to the youth of the community.

HCTCA members have also volunteered to participate in American Lung Association events. Several members are involved with the Erie-Huron Asthma Walk, as walkers, support volunteers, fundraisers, or by raising awareness about the event.

The Huron County Tobacco Control Alliance has had a demonstrable positive impact on tobacco control, clean air, and lung health issues in northwestern Ohio.