Operating in six counties, the DHA Tobacco-Free Coalition project has been recognized for Exemplary Service by the Mississippi Department of Health. Our staff work directly with schools and community organizations to prevent the initiation of tobacco use among youth, reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, promote tobacco cessation services, and eliminate tobacco related disparities.
As a result of its outreach program, smoke free ordinances have been adopted in the Delta municipalities of Coahoma, Friars Point, Clarksdale, Jonestown, Lyon, Marks, Sledge, Tutwiler, Sumner, Charleston, Beulah, Drew, Moorhead, Duncan, Alligator, and Indianola, as well as Coahoma County and Delta State University in Cleveland.
Hundreds of Delta high school and elementary students in Bolivar, Sunflower, Coahoma, Tunica, Quitman and Tallahatchie counties have learned about the dangers of tobacco use through a cessation and prevention program sponsored by Delta Health Alliance.
Tobacco prevention is also important because it relates so closely to the chronic diseases that are prevalent in the Delta. Teaching students the role that tobacco use plays in chronic illnesses and conditions such as obesity, asthma, hypertension and diabetes helps drive home the message that tobacco has no place in anyone’s life.
“What I know now is that smoking kills brain cells. That’s just one reason why everyone should be tobacco free. Smoking is not just a stupid thing to do, but it makes you stupid.” — Indiya, a 17 year-old rising senior at John F. Kennedy Memorial High School