Learning Objectives: Identify opportunities to integrate ETS exposure reduction into other environmental health programs and describe the implementation process.
Problem/Objective: Reducing exposure to ETS is one of four main objectives of Vermont's comprehensive tobacco control program. By integrating ETS exposure reduction into other Department initiatives, the information is made available to a much wider audience.
METHODS: Information on the health effects of ETS exposure is integrated into an existing program that provides training and funding for Healthy Homes initiatives to emergency medical services and town officials. The information is presented through slides and written materials as part of a larger training effort. By educating and enlisting the support of local leaders, the ETS message is strengthened and validated within the community.
RESULTS: Information on the importance of reducing ETS exposure and the resources available to smokers who want to quit was made available through several non-traditional venues, such as home safety checks, lead poisoning investigations, and town government meetings. Over the past 18 months, 50 communities have been involved with the Healthy Homes initiative.
Discussion: While tobacco specific training and public outreach remain a critical component of Vermont's comprehensive tobacco control program, other strategies for disseminating information should be explored. There are obvious links between reducing ETS exposure and other aspects of a healthy indoor environment. Tobacco control programs should take advantage of these links.
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