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DHSS Unveils Baseline Measures
"We need to see results from our tobacco control efforts - fewer smokers, more people quitting, less exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. This report gives us excellent baseline data showing where we stand now, so that we can judge our effectiveness over time," said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Christine Grant.
The baseline measures are critical to evaluating the effectiveness of New Jersey's $30 million Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program. It is the first in a series of reports that will track trends in the state and help guide future improvements in the tobacco control programs.
"New Jerseyans can be assured that this is and will be money well spent," Grant added. "We are one of the few states with an evaluation system built into our tobacco control program, and we intend to use it to find out what works and what doesn't."
Evaluation of the New Jersey Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program: Baseline Measures was prepared by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - School of Public Health. It includes the results of surveys of young people, adults, pregnant women, and school officials, as well as the findings of a media tracking system on tobacco issues.
The state's tobacco control program is funded through the Master Settlement Agreement with the tobacco companies. Below are some highlights from the report.
Smoking and Quitting
According to the report, just over 18 percent of New Jersey adults smoke, a rate below the national average. However, the state's smoking rates vary by age and race. As the highlights show:
Environmental Tobacco Smoke
The report found that three-quarters of adults work at sites with a smoke-free policy, Two-thirds of adults said they have banned smoking in their homes. However, New Jersey's residents continue to be exposed to environmental tobacco smoke. Highlights include:
Data on middle and high school tobacco use were from a fall 1999 Youth Tobacco Survey, and the results were released in a 2000 report. The youth tobacco survey will be repeated this fall and every two years thereafter. The remaining surveys in the baseline report were conducted in 2000 and most will be repeated annually.
The department's $30 million comprehensive tobacco control program is funded through the Master Settlement Agreement with the tobacco companies. Of that total, $3 million is set aside for program evaluation, including the report released today. The remainder is allocated as follows: $6.3 million for media and public awareness campaigns; $7 million for community partnership programs; $5 million for youth programs; and $8.7 million for treatment programs.
The report is available at www.state.nj.us/health.
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