What is it?
The Tobacco Free Ohio Alliance (TFOA) is a cross-section of community and state organizations and groups, as well as individuals dedicated to protecting the health and well-being of Ohio residents from the harmful effects of commercial tobacco*, tobacco smoke, and other nicotine products. State agencies participate as technical advisors.
- Eliminate health disparities caused by commercial tobacco.
- Help commercial tobacco and nicotine users quit.
- Eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Educate Ohioans about the harmful effects of commercial tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure on all citizens.
- Support policy, system, and environmental changes to achieve a commercial tobacco-free Ohio.
*Some Native American or First Nation tribes use tobacco as a sacred medicine and in ceremonies. It is important to differentiate between sacred tobacco and commercial tobacco. Commercial tobacco is manufactured and sold by the commercial tobacco industry, contains added chemicals, and is linked to addiction, disease, and death. If there is reference to tobacco, we are referring to commercial tobacco. To learn more about the differences between sacred and commercial tobacco, visit the Keep It Sacred website.
TFOA members develop a strategic plan for the state and provide leadership to achieve those goals. In addition, alliance members share information on policy, funding, legal, and educational issues relating to tobacco use prevention and cessation. The Alliance hosts quarterly meetings in Columbus, which are open to the public and with a virtual option. Meetings are held at State Library of Ohio, 274 E. 1st Avenue, Columbus, OH 43201.
TFOA Vision and Mission Statements
- Vision: An Ohio where residents are free from exposure to the risks of commercial tobacco use.
- Mission: Through advocacy, education and treatment, elimination of the harmful effects of commercial tobacco use and exposure for all Ohioans.
The Strategic Plan for a Tobacco Free Ohio, 2021-2025 (coming soon!) provides goals, strategies, and tactics to guide tobacco prevention and control throughout Ohio. The plan was developed by the Tobacco Free Ohio Alliance (TFOA) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Tobacco Use Prevention. It is based on available data and best practices and aligned with the following plans and priorities:
- Healthy People 2030
- CDC National State Tobacco Control Grant Priorities
- ODH State Health Improvement Plan
- Community Health Improvement Plans
- Priorities of Local Tobacco Grants
The plan is organized into five priority areas with objectives and strategies for achieving each priority. The plan includes specific goals to be reached by December 2025, including targets within specific populations. The five priority areas are as follows:
- Prevent Youth Tobacco Use
- Promote Tobacco Use Cessation
- Eliminate Exposure to Secondhand Smoke
- Develop and Maintain Sustainable Infrastructure
- Investigate, Monitor, and Evaluate Issues Associated with Commercial Tobacco Use
Position Statement on Health Equity and the Social and Structural Determinants of Tobacco Use on Population Health
Approved by the Tobacco Free Ohio Alliance 7/13/2021
This policy is approved by the TFOA Assembly and Ohio Department of Health. This position statement defines TFOA official policy on Health Equity and the Social and Structural Determinants of Health of Tobacco Use on Population Health.
The tobacco industry’s documented practice of intentionally targeting people of color and under-resourced communities, along with structural racism and discrimination, have created tobacco use inequities in the state of Ohio. Persistent disparities exist among Black Americans; American Indians/Alaska Natives; Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians; Hispanic/Latinos; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals; people of low socioeconomic status; people living with a disability; individuals with behavioral health conditions (including mental health conditions and substance use disorders); and by individuals living in different geographic regions, including Appalachia. Unequal access to tobacco prevention and cessation resources perpetuates those inequities, particularly among people of color and populations that are marginalized or under-resourced. Unequal allocation of public health resources and institutional and public policies worsen these disparities. The social determinants of tobacco use include social supports, employment, civic engagement, socioeconomic and educational status, discrimination, and mental health stigma among other factors. Structural determinants of tobacco use include the actions and norms of systems and policies, such as the economic, legal, political, and healthcare systems. Health equity is a public health paradigm and quality goal that aims to promote equitable access to health-related opportunities when needs are equal, provide enhanced opportunities when needs are greater, and address systemic issues that perpetuate inequalities.
To work toward the goal of achieving health equity, the members of TFOA resolve to value all people equally and to optimize the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, learn and age. We will work with other sectors to address the factors that influence health, including employment, housing, education, health care, public safety, and food access. We acknowledge racism as a force in determining how these social determinants are distributed, which have an undeniable effect on tobacco use and other factors that influence health at the individual and population level.
Embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Tobacco Free Ohio Alliance and the communities we serve.
Advance the Tobacco Free Ohio Alliance’s mission of saving lives through tobacco use prevention and cessation while fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in our practices, programs, and processes by adapting and transforming behaviors and mindsets, and meaningfully including underrepresented people to transform tobacco prevention strategies.
TFOA Position on Health Equity:
The Tobacco Free Ohio Alliance:
- Supports legislation and policies that promote tobacco prevention and cessation strategies that improve the social and structural determinants of health and formally objects to legislation and policies that perpetuate structural inequities.
- Increases parity by bringing those at greatest risk for tobacco use, illness, and death in line with those at the least risk for tobacco use, illness and death.
- Increases diversity by intentionally inviting and including a diverse range of stakeholders, both individually and professionally, in tobacco prevention and control to the table to participate in all aspects of tobacco use prevention and control include planning, implementation and evaluation of tobacco use prevention and control programs.
- Advocates for the dissemination of evidence-based interventions that improve upon the social structural determinants of health to reduce the impact of tobacco use on Ohioans and their families.
- Urges healthcare systems to assess and improve their capabilities to screen, understand, and address the structural and social determinants of tobacco use.
- Supports medical and public education on the structural and social determinants of tobacco use and related evidence-based interventions.
- Advocate for the equitable enforcement of tobacco use policies that provide support for tobacco users while holding tobacco retailers and the tobacco industry responsible for the harms of tobacco use.
- Supports efforts to address tobacco-attributable health disparities among diverse race, ethnicity, special populations and at risk or underserved groups; and associated disparate burden due to tobacco-related morbidity and mortality, and the regulation of e-cigarettes and their components.
- Encourage legislation and programs that address disparate rates of tobacco use, limit use of flavored and menthol tobacco products, and reduce inequities in access to cessation programs.
Interested in becoming a member of the Tobacco Free Ohio Alliance?
Membership is open to all organizations and individuals concerned about the detrimental health consequences of tobacco use in Ohio and interested in furthering the mission of TFOA. The strategic plan is designed to align with priorities of other organizations and state agencies and to allow members to identify related strategies to support.
To apply to join TFOA, access the Membership Application.
Member Roles and Responsibilities:
- Actively support the mission of TFOA.
- Attend quarterly meetings.
- Foster a diverse alliance.
TFOA facilitates opportunities for members to learn from experts and other members about advances in data and approaches to tobacco use, prevention, cessation, and policy.
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October 11, 2022