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ETR Awarded Grant for California Center to Reduce Tobacco-Related Disparities in Tribal Communities

SACRAMENTO, CA – August 16, 2018

ETR is honored to announce it has received a 5-year grant from the State of California Tobacco Control Program to establish the American Indian Coordinating Center (AICC). The AICC will foster interactive and integrative collaboration, communication and community engagement among tobacco control projects funded by the California Tribal Tobacco Control and Prevention Initiative, their networks, and other American Indian-serving tobacco control projects.

The AICC presents an exciting opportunity to coordinate work with California tribes and California’s American Indian population to address the enormous physical, social and emotional toll commercial tobacco takes on this community. ETR has worked with tribal communities for over 10 years to promote clean indoor air within housing, workplaces, and casinos. We have been associate members of California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) since 2008 and premiere associate members of Nevada/California Indian Housing Association for over 4 years.

Vignetta Charles, ETR CEO, states, “I’m excited that our project team reflects our commitment to living our values of community engagement in all aspects of the work from inception through impact evaluation, and thrilled to work with amazing team members like Pauline Murillo Industry Leader Narinder Dhaliwal and Community Outreach Coordinator Jennifer Geisler (San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission Indians).” ETR also has an advisory committee comprised of 9 Tribal Nations, with tribal members representing the four geographical regions of the state: Central, Coastal, Northern and Southern.

Tobacco use remains the number one cause of preventable death, disease and disability in the U.S. Each year in California, tobacco-related diseases account for approximately 16% of deaths, 40,000 people. Focused efforts to reduce initiation and use of tobacco and to protect non-smokers from secondhand smoke have reduced the smoking prevalence among adult Californians from 23.7% in 1988 to 10.5% in 2015 – a 55.7% decline in smoking.

Despite this success, large differences in smoking prevalence persist for adults and youth among some high-risk population groups, including American Indians. The current tobacco use prevalence in California is significantly higher among American Indian populations (40.8%) than among Black/African American (21.2%), Asian/Pacific Islander (15.5%), Hispanic/Latino (13.8%), or White-non Hispanic populations (16.7%). This disproportionate rate of tobacco use is directly related to adverse health outcomes among the American Indian population.

ETR envisions a world where all people have the information, skills and opportunities to lead healthy lives. We are driven by our mission to improve health and increase opportunities for youth, families, and communities. We believe the AICC will be a powerful resource to promote health equity within California’s tribal communities.

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