LOOP Technical Assistance Trainer Serena Chen wins Jefferson Award for Landmark Tobacco Control Laws








Earlier this month, LOOP Technical Assistance Trainer Serena Chen won the Jefferson Award from CBS SF Bay Area (KPIX, KCBS) for her pioneering work in the tobacco control movement for the last 20 years.

Here are some excerpts from the article on CBS SF Bay Area’s website:

As policy director at the American Lung Association, Chen advocated alongside a group of anti-smoking residents and claimed victory when Belmont passed its landmark no-smoking law for apartments and condos in 2007.

“Thanks to Chen’s work in Belmont and the Bay Area, two million Californians in more than 30 cities now have smoke-free housing laws.”

“In all, she has advocated for more than 50 city and county smoke-free ordinances, from business districts to bus stops; from parks to public schools and public housing.”

“’In a very good sense, I saw my role always as an enabler,’ she explained. ‘I enable communities to get their voices heard.’”

The LOOP Team congratulates Serena on her accomplishments and on her long-term commitment to tobacco control in California! We also want to thank Serena for being a Technical Assistance Trainer for The LOOP!

Read full article here

Kern County Tobacco Free Coalition & Community Collaboration Supports Capacity-Building

Bakersfield “Clergy, Cops & Community” members of The LOOP who attended the Mentoring Center training in Oakland, CA with Chelsa Snead and Achebe Hoskins. Featured here are LOOP Technical Assistance Trainer Kevin Keyes and Pastor Toure Tyler.

Bakersfield tobacco control advocates, who are newly-recruited LOOP technical assistance trainers (TATs), recently attended a mentor training hosted by the Mentoring Center in Oakland, California. The group took the opportunity to meet with statewide members of The LOOP including Dr. Valerie Yerger and Carol McGruder who is also the Co-Chair for the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council. Carol and Valerie met with Pastor Toure Tyler from The Cross Christian Church and heard his story about struggling with cigarette addiction as a college student. When he learned about their research on menthol, he wanted to bring those efforts not only to his church but to community and faith-based organizations in Bakersfield. Since then, the groups in Kern County have hosted, under the collaborative efforts of the “Clergy Cops and Community” initiative, “The Great American Smokeout” event at New Life Residential Center. They also hosted “No Menthol Sunday” at The Cross Christian Church.

This capacity-building effort has expanded to include collaborative events working with churches in San Francisco and the Season of Peace Movement to stop gun violence in Bakersfield and Oakland. These collaborative efforts are aimed at addressing both gun violence and tobacco-related diseases. Bakersfield’s Danny Morrison, an active partner in the collaboration, has a powerful movement going called #HowLong, which uses rap music to spread the message of ending gun violence in the community.

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New Study: Rural and Tribal Residents and Smoke-Free Housing Policy


…That Most Public Housing Authority Residents Living in Rural and Tribal Settings Support Smoke-Free Policies?

A study published in the Journal of Community Health (December, 2016) examined attitudes towards smoking policies among public housing authority (PHA) residents in rural and tribal settings. A self-administered questionnaire was completed by 895 adult tenants living in PHA multiunit buildings in Montana in 2013.

Findings included:

  • The majority (80.6 %) of respondents supported having a smoke-free policy in their building, with support being significantly higher among nonsmokers and among residents living with children.
  • Tribal residents were as likely to support smoke-free policies as non-tribal residents.
  • Over half (56.5 %) of respondents reported secondhand smoke exposure in their home; residents in a building with no smoke-free policy in place were significantly more likely to report exposure.

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Join Our Webinar on Affordable Smoke-Free Housing on November 29th


Webinar: “Convincing Affordable Housing Providers to Go Smoke-Free”

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 (10:30am – 11:30pm PDT)

Guest Speaker: Serena Chen, MSW

The webinar will cover:

  • The different types of affordable housing providers and their primary missions (public housing vs. non-profit housing providers vs. Section 8/private landlords).
  • Impact of rent control laws on smoke-free housing campaigns.
  • Importance of building relationships with housing providers.

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dyk…That Menthol Cigarette Prevalence Use Has Increased In Asian, White And Hispanic Smokers Since 2010?

A study published in Tobacco Control (October 2016) examined non-menthol and menthol cigarette use prevalence in adolescents and adults using national data from 2004 to 2014.

Findings included:

  • Although overall smoking prevalence has decreased, the proportion of past 30-day cigarette smokers using menthol cigarettes was higher (39%) in 2012-2014 compared to 2008-2010 (35%).
  • Youth smokers remain the most likely group to use menthol cigarettes compared to all other age groups.
  • Menthol cigarette prevalence has increased in Asian, White and Hispanic smokers since 2010.
  • Menthol cigarette prevalence exceeded non-menthol cigarette prevalence in youth and young adult smokers in 2014.
  • Among smokers, menthol cigarette use was positively correlated with co-use of cigars.
  • Menthol cigarette and smokeless tobacco co-use also increased from 2004 to 2014.

The researchers concluded that because the youngest smokers are most likely to use menthol cigarettes, there is urgency to limit the impact of menthol cigarettes on the health of youth and young adults.

Click HERE to comment on the findings & engage with your peers on the Peer-to-Peer Exchange (P2PE). Click HERE to read the abstract.

From the Field: Technical Assistance Trainer Julie Waters Discusses Smokefree Housing Policy with Kings County


Julie Waters, Technical Assistance Trainer with The LOOP

On Wednesday September 14, 2016, LOOP Technical Assistance Trainer Julie Waters delivered a presentation to the Kings County Tobacco Coalition. Her presentation, entitled “Smokefree Communities: Opportunities for Smokefree Housing in your own Backyard,” provided information on the importance of local policy adoption and steps to successful policy adoption. Continue reading

The LOOP Leadership Development Program (LDP) Fellow Marlene Hurd hosts an educational forum


On August 24, 2016, LOOP Leadership Development Program (LDP) Fellow and President of the Merritt College Tobacco Less Club, Marlene Hurd, organized the screening of the film, “Addiction Inc.” The film was followed by a panel discussion which included experts from the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC), The LOOP, and two students from Merritt College. Attendees were surprised to learn about the tobacco industry’s targeting of African American communities, specifically around menthol use. Since the airing of the film and panel discussion, students have joined campus advocacy efforts focused on making Merritt College a 100% smoke free campus. Merritt, along with other Peralta Colleges, was able to amend its smoking policy to include e-cigarettes in the Spring of 2016. Learn more here. Currently, Merritt College has designated smoking areas, but still has challenges with smokers on campus, butt litter, and smoking around the daycare center and bus stop.

Another goal that Marlene’s campus organization achieved was to receive a $5,000 grant from the Truth Initiative’s 2015-2016 Smoke-Free Tobacco-Free Community Grant Initiative. Additionally, the group has a Peralta Radio show through which they have created several public service announcements educating the public about tobacco.

Regarding The LOOP Leadership Development Program, Marlene stated, “with all the training and support I have received as a LOOP Fellow, it has helped me expand my knowledge in the areas of doing grant related policy work, mobilizing our community and becoming a Tobacco Prevention Advocate.” Marlene currently serves as a 2016-2017 Student Advisory Board member with Campuses Organized and United for Good Health (COUGH) and a 2016 member of the Alameda County Tobacco Control Leadership board and their Policy Committee.

The LOOP collaborates with Community Youth Advocacy Network (CYAN), which has an initiative that focuses on making California community colleges smoke-free. As an LDP Fellow, Marlene will be able to access CYAN for additional resources, especially, for example, when it comes to enforcing Merritt College’s existing policy