Louisiana Public Health Institute offering grants for reducing tobacco use in specific communities

Louisiana Public Health Institute offering grants for reducing tobacco use in specific communities
Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 5:22 PM CST
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The Louisiana Public Health Institute opened up applications for this year’s round of grants to reduce tobacco use in African American and Rural communities.

The project began in 2019 and is called Addressing Systemic Inequities to Reduce Tobacco (ASIRT). Jennifer Haneline, the regional manager of the Louisiana Public Health Institute, says there are clear correlations between income level and smoking. She says the goal of this project is to focus on the systemic issues that lead people to use tobacco.

“We have systemic inequities so there are reasons people are addicted to nicotine,” Haneline says. “Mental health is a big one. Stress is tremendous, and we tend to see higher smoking rates in our low income communities.”

According to Haneline, statistics show that 34% of Louisianans who make less than $25,000 a year smoke, 21% of Lousianans making $25-50,000 per year smoke, 15% of Louisianans making $50-75,000 per year smoke, and only 7% of Louisianans who make more than $75,000 smoke.

“We want to tell our communities that are most affected by health inequities that they matter to us. We’re putting money into those communities to really try to help improve their health so they can live longer,” Haneline says.

Haneline also says they encourage creativity when it comes to the usage of this grant, and they hope for communities to evaluate the most beneficial way this grant can be used to help reduce tobacco in these areas.

They are encouraging community leaders and organizations in Ferriday, Jonesville, Lake Providence, Tallulah, Delhi and Bastrop to apply for the grant.

Partnership grants up to $20,000 will be given to community-based organizations. Rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers can receive up to $10,000.

The deadline to apply is December 21.

You can apply at LPHI.org/ASIRT