Based on a recent Community Needs Assessment, the Greater Cincinnati American Heart Association has identified tobacco and vaping elimination as a key priority. To address this critical issue, the AHA has a goal is to increase prevention education and support local advocacy and public policy to decrease the risk of death and disability associated with tobacco and nicotine products. This toolkit was created to provide schools, organizations and communities the resources they need to eliminate tobacco in their respective entity.

The toolkit consists of 3 sections:

It outlines how each can utilize effective methods and model policies to prevent and reduce tobacco and e-cigarette use. Within each section you will find a one-page overview, background information, model policy and advocacy suggestions, case study, and resources.

If you have your first cigarette by the age of 18, you are twice as likely to become a lifelong smoker. Our brains do not fully develop until the age of 25, specifically the section that regulates decision making and impulse control. Nicotine use during brain development affects the way synapses are formed and can create elevated risk of addiction, mood disorders, and permanent diminished impulse control.

The American Productivity Audit data of the U.S. workforce highlighted that tobacco use was the greatest variable for LPT or Lost Production. A loss of productivity is a substantial cost to the employer since it is estimated that employees who use tobacco products have two times more lost production time each week. 8 More than 1 in 3 Greater Cincinnati adults (34%) use some type of tobacco product. LPT is not the only cost employers are absorbing. There are significant health insurance costs associated with tobacco use, averaging $2,000 more than non-smokers. When added together the average additional cost to an employer for an employee who uses tobacco is $5,816 per year. About 600,000 adults in Greater Cincinnati currently use some type of tobacco product, which costs our business community roughly $3.5 billion per year.

Flavored tobacco products are a key marketing strategy used to entice young people to try smoking with popular flavors, such as cotton candy, gummy bears, and donuts. The CDC found a slight decline in students' e-cigarette use in 2020; however, eight in 10 students report flavored e-cigarette usage despite FDA interventions.