PRCHN’s Erika Trapl wins Tobacco Disparities Demonstration Project grant

Erika Trapl, associate director of the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods (PRCHN), won a one-year, $240,000 Tobacco Disparities Demonstration Project grant from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).

The project extends work PRCHN is engaged in as a partner of the Health Improvement Partnership-Cuyahoga (HIP-Cuyahoga) and Healthy Cleveland.

Erika TraplBuilding on the resident team model developed by HIP-Cuyahoga, the Tobacco Disparities Project will use a multi-level approach to tobacco prevention and cessation by increasing adoption of 100 percent tobacco-free worksite policies and smoke-free home rules, as well as promoting free resources to assist smokers in quitting (e.g., Ohio QuitLine, smokefreeTXT, QuitGuide and quitSTART).

A culturally informed media messaging campaign to raise awareness of dangers of tobacco—particularly cigar products—and encourage smoking cessation will underpin these strategies.

The Tobacco Disparities Project will work with resident teams trained as community organizers to help implement policy, systems and environmental changes based on their expert neighborhood knowledge. With focused attention on tobacco prevention and cessation, using a resident team approach has the potential to increase the engagement of community organizations to adopt smoke-free policies and facilitate dissemination of the cessation resources to key constituents.

The grant allows PRCHN to demonstrate the effectiveness of its approach so that ODH can replicate it in other parts of the state. PRCHN also will be part of a tobacco disparities learning collaborative through the state where the center can learn from and share with the other two grantees in the state (both of which are at Ohio State University).

To be truly effective, Trapl said: “Tobacco control interventions must reach people in their daily lives. By engaging residents at various venues, people will receive information in a trusted environment and in a culturally relevant way; this can begin to shift tobacco social norms.”