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Safe Routes to School & Tobacco Prevention Advocacy Continues

With legislature adjourned for 2017, we have an opportunity to work in communities across Idaho to improve health and prevent heart disease and stroke. 

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We hope to make the most of our successes during the legislative session by educating and encouraging local districts to expand Safe Routes to School efforts with the possibility of state dollars as a new funding source.

Over the summer months we will focus our efforts on education and prevention of smoking. Several communities across the state have made progress in going smoke-free, including the University of Idaho campus earlier this year, and local municipalities across the state have been creating smoke-free parks and other public spaces.

We are also working with our partner organizations to build coalitions of advocates in several cities around Idaho that have considered smoke-free ordinances in the past, or have recently expressed interest in adopting an ordinance. Over the next several months, we will be focusing on Twin Falls and Garden City to help provide information on why cities should go smoke-free.

In addition to our work on smoke free communities we are continuing to work to raise the legal sales age of tobacco products to 21. Research has shown us that 95% of smokers start before 21 so raising the age will likely prevent many youth from smoking altogether. Our momentum on this issue was high during the legislative session, and we’d like to keep that going by encouraging youth action and involvement in our ‘Tobacco to 21’ campaign. We know youth are specifically targeted by tobacco companies advertising, and we are working to combat those efforts through education and involvement from youth who don’t want to live with the dangers of tobacco.

There are many opportunities to be involved in our efforts across the state, and we need your support to help reduce the risks from smoking and encourage other healthy lifestyles to prevent heart disease and stroke. If you are interested in helping our efforts in these areas, reach out to Grace Henscheid or Erin Bennett  to learn more about how you can be involved! You can make the difference in Idaho heart health!

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