2004 No Wine Shop

2003 Philadelphia Alcohol Billboard Ban

2002
Stop Liquor Ads on NBC

2002 Community Partners

2001
Swisher Ain't Sweet

1999
Marlboro Mild

1998 African Amer. & Tobacco Settlement

1998 African Amer. Tobacco Ind. Lawsuit

1997 Say No to Menthol Joe

1996 Hands off Halloween

1995 X Cigarette

1994 World No Tobacco Day Activities

1993 Defeat of PowerMaster Malt Liquor

1990 Uptown Coalition

 

HOME > MODEL OF SUCCESS

Spirit of Life Project: Models of Success

"Those who tell the stories define the culture."
-David Walsh, President, National Institute for Media and the Family

In implementing public health programs, it is important to connect with key people, including faith organizations (e.g., C.Perry, Creating Health Behavior Change: How to Develop Community-Wide Programs for Youth, Sage Publications 1999, pp. 105-107).

Faith communities in large part have woven the social history and fabric of norms in the U.S. Historically, religious institutions carry social threads of such concepts as addiction, disease, and mind-body issues which relate to community behavior. In times past, this has contributed either to great social good-such as in the roots of public health in this country-or, at other times, great harm. Faith leaders can be major opinion leaders. Where and when faith communities have been involved in tobacco education or prevention, policy fruits have been significant:

Chicago, Philadelphia, and other cities: The Reverend Jesse Brown and the National Association of African Americans for Positive Imagery (NAAAPI) has done anti-tobacco advocacy and activism to highlight and protest tobacco companies' targeting populations of color.

Maryland: With the help of organizations such as the Interfaith Ministerial Alliance, United Black Clergy, American Baptist Churches of the South, Baltimore Jewish Council, various churches, ministry and youth ministry networks, the Maryland Smoke-Free Coalition raised the State's cigarette tax through the Maryland Children's Initiative. As a result, Maryland will have the country's 11th highest cigarette tax and will spend at least $21 million annually to reduce tobacco use.

Florida: The East Bay Region of the ALA, Gulf Coast, has partnered with St. Matthew's Baptist Church as the home of its Church-Based Community Tobacco Intervention Project, creating a stronger health presence in the local minority community and among area youth.

California: The Spirit of Health project, funded by the state's Tobacco Control Section (TCS), has organized clergy to support and implement tobacco-related policy initiatives, and the African American Tobacco Education Network (AATEN, an Ethnic Linkage project of TCS) has often made headlines in its protests of tobacco advertising and targeting of populations in urban Oakland and Los Angeles areas.

Massachusetts: Churches Organized to Stop Tobacco (COST, now Churches Organized to Save Tomorrow) is a partnership of six Boston area churches and the Medical Foundation, with common goals of tobacco education, prevention, and treatment.

St. Louis: The local Clergy Coalition there banded with the regional ASSIST and American Cancer Society programs to fight for various bans on tobacco advertising, convince chain drug stores not to sell menthol Camel cigarettes, and mobilize its 47,000 membership base on tobacco prevention issues (P.Lindsey, "Faith Leaders Ban Tobacco Advertising," in No More Lies: Truth and the Consequences for Tobacco, Case Studies from the Fourth Annual National Conference on Tobacco and Health, 1998, St. Paul).

And adolescent spirituality among high school students has been found to be a protective factor against a number of health risk behaviors such as tobacco use (Resnick et al., Journal of the American Medical Association, September 10, 1997). In the words of Gary Gunderson, director of the Interfaith Health Program (see our Partners): "Faith community connection can be as beneficial to one's health as tobacco is harmful to it."



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