ETSU to host quarterly SmokeFree TN Coalition meeting next week
Published 11:38 am Wednesday, November 8, 2023
East Tennessee State University’s Center for Cardiovascular Risk Research (CCRR) will host a quarterly meeting of the SmokeFree Tennessee Coalition next week as part of their work to help guide and develop a statewide strategic plan for tobacco control.
In 2022, the Tennessee Department of Health enlisted the ETSU College of Public Health to provide strategic planning services and expert guidance to create a five-year comprehensive tobacco control plan. The plan will be sweeping, serving as a roadmap to prevent tobacco use and create new tobacco control initiatives.
As part of the development of this plan, CCRR will conduct 10 focus groups, including one with attendees of the SmokeFree Tennessee Coalition meeting.
“This work aligns seamlessly with the mission of the CCRR, which is dedicated to mitigating the burden of cardiovascular disease, reducing tobacco-related health disparities and promoting the quality of life of the population we serve,” said Dr. Hadii Mamudu, director of the ETSU Center for Cardiovascular Risk Research and professor in the ETSU College of Public Health.
“This is a demonstration of our commitment to using research to understand the prevailing issues and provide evidence-based recommendations that will contribute to the health of individuals in our region and the state,” Mamudu added.
SmokeFree Tennessee is the state’s official nicotine prevention coalition, bringing together experts in policy, community engagement, and evidence-based educational practices to reduce the negative impacts of tobacco use in the state.
Across Tennessee, the adult smoking rate is significantly higher than the national average, with the state currently ranking 47th for adult smoking. The Tennessee Department of Health estimates Tennesseans spend $3.1 billion each year in health care costs directly caused by smoking – something that claims an estimated 11,400 lives in Tennessee annually.
“The importance of engaging in this kind of community work cannot be overstated,” said Adeola Ayo, a doctoral student in the ETSU College of Public Health and graduate research assistant with CCRR. “This experience has been enriching for me because it transcends the boundaries of academia to the real-world application of research and expertise where we can make a tangible impact on the lives of the population we serve, and I am grateful for this opportunity.”
This work speaks to the core of CCRR’s mission to mitigate cardiovascular diseases burden, alleviate health disparities and address health inequities among the rural, socioeconomically disadvantaged population of Central Appalachia. This happens through multidisciplinary research, health promotion and education, policy analysis and risk management.
The CCRR is one of many ETSU research centers doing work that has a real-world impact, all with the same goal: to improve the lives of those in this region and beyond.
The SmokeFree Tennessee meeting will be held in the D.P. Culp Student Center, room 219, from 12-2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16. The event is free and open to the public.