Bridging The Gap

Partnering to Address Tobacco Disparities in Vermont

In addition to the three core goals for tobacco control, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends addressing health disparities as a fourth program goal.

The Tobacco Control Program and its partners performed a comprehensive review of statewide prevalence data, trends and capacity for change. The result was a collaborative plan with an initial focus on two groups of Vermonters:

These groups have some of the highest smoking rates in the state, and those rates are not decreasing like the other segments of the population. These groups also have many co-occurring disorders – like substance abuse, obesity and diabetes – which impact their health and quality of life.

Three areas of focus were chosen

  1. Building Internal Capacity – Education and training were identified as critical components to understand and address the complex systems, policies and pressures that these groups must navigate on a daily basis.
  2. Creating and Enhancing Partnerships – Partnerships are key to combining cessation and prevention information into existing systems, as well as shared knowledge of the audience and how they interact with public health organizations.
  3. Implementing and Enhancing Services – Increased awareness of issues affecting these groups will call for additional service offerings, as well as services that best fit the needs and lifestyle of the particular population.

Regional meetings to develop local plans will be held in early 2007. To find out more about the regional meetings, the Bridging the Gap plan or the Tobacco Control Program, e-mail tobaccovt@vdh.state.vt.us or call 1-866-331-5622.

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