The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reports that Taney County boasts some of the highest tobacco rates in the state at 30-percent. A grant secured by Skaggs Foundation will help tobacco users in Taney and Stone counties receive the resources they need to quit and help businesses implement tobacco-free environments.
The Missouri Foundation for Health awarded the $493,397 grant to Cox Medical Center Branson. The funds will be distributed over the next five years for the implementation of a tobacco cessation and policy advocacy program in Stone and Taney counties.
“Skaggs Foundation and Cox Medical Center Branson will work with Taney and Stone County Health Departments on this program,” explains Heather Zoromski, Grant Administrator, Skaggs Foundation. “It will focus on providing accessible tobacco cessation services through the American Lung Association’s Freedom from Smoking program, which will be taught by a CoxHealth Educator and Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist.”
“In 2012, tobacco use was identified as a top health risk in our community through the Taney County Health Department’s Community Health Needs Assessment,” says Lisa Marshall, Wellness Coordinator, Cox Medical Center Branson. “These funds make it possible for CoxHealth and local health departments to work together in creating a healthy, tobacco-free community.”
A portion of the grant will help tobacco users in Taney and Stone counties pay for the cost of tobacco cessation programs offered. Scholarships and financial assistance will be available to offset the cost of the seven-week cessation class, nicotine replacement therapy and first and second line medication. Along with cessation services, community tobacco education and worksite tobacco free policy education will be provided by both health departments.