UND Studio One interviews Grand Forks Public Health Tobacco Prevention Coordinator

From University of North Dakota’s Studio One:

Tobacco was the first cash crop grown in North America starting in 1612. Since then, mass amounts of money have gone towards both selling tobacco and preventing its use.
Studio One is a live television show produced by the University of North Dakota’s Television Center. The Television Center offers an extensive internship program through Studio One. An internship with Studio One provides valuable on-the-job experience, a chance to make professional contacts and the opportunity to work on an award winning project. Visit studio1.und.edu for more information.
Tobacco Prevention Coordinator at Grand Forks Public Health, Kailee Dvorak, is here to tell us why prevention and control of tobacco is so important.

To watch the video, click here: https://vimeo.com/162000999

Grand Forks has been putting time and money into the prevention of tobacco use, and Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Kailee Dvorak says that laws have been passed to help this effort. “Breathe ND, or the Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy, was formed after an initiated measure back in 2008. It was called Measure 3 back then. The voters of North Dakota passed that measure, and by law it formed the Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy, which states that tobacco settlement dollars, specifically the strategic contribution funds, so a portion of the tobacco settlement dollars that come into the state of North Dakota, are spent on tobacco prevention and control,” said Dvorak.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids says North Dakota is the only state that is spending enough money on tobacco prevention. Dvorak says that they are also doing things locally to continue to make progress. “Here in Grand Forks we receive funds from the center (Breathe ND) to work locally on tobacco prevention and control policy in accordance to CDC best practices,” says Dvorak.

There are many schools involved with trying to prevent their students from using tobacco. UND is one school that takes tobacco use very seriously. “The funding that we utilize locally we’ve also been able to partner with UND, so that tobacco prevention policy efforts can happen on campus,” said Dvorak.

There have been studies done to show how much progress has been made in tobacco prevention in North Dakota. “From 2009-2015, smoking among North Dakota’s high school students fell by 48%,” said Dvorak. There was also a study that showed the mean level of indoor air pollution in Grand Forks went down by 92% after the law was passed.

Dvorak and her co-workers work every day to help the community fight the tobacco industry. They take their goals very seriously in an effort to keep young people away from tobacco. “One of our main goals is preventing youth initiation and also decreasing tobacco use rates across the board and changing that social norm,” said Dvorak.

One thing that some people might not know is these efforts aren’t funded by the community. “We aren’t funded by taxpayers,” said Dvorak. The efforts are funded by tobacco settlement dollars.