Archives for : February2014

Are you SMART Enough?

Emerging adults (ages 18 – 24) are at significant risk for HIV, STDs, and substance abuse.  The Get SMART Project, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), aims to prevent and reduce substance abuse and the transmission of HIV and STDS among young adults. Get SMART utilizes innovative approaches that promote equity, culturally appropriate services and access to reliable sexual health education.

Young people are not invincible and HIV/STDs do not discriminate. Therefore, it really pays to be SMART. The SMART Project pays participants to learn about contemporary social issues such as HIV/STDs, substance abuse and the health consequences associated with tobacco use, and share the information within their social networks.  The participants could earn as much as $300.00. Furthermore, participants learn about the deleterious relationship between alcohol, drugs, and sex. The sobering facts here are: Mixing alcohol and/or drugs with sex increases the risk of HIV/STDs, intimate partner violence, and unintended pregnancy. This is because if you have sex when you high and/or using drugs, you are much less likely to be thinking clearly enough to practice responsible sexual behavior (use of condoms), or use condoms correctly.

Get SMART creates a culture that supports “real discussions” and a safe non-judgmental space to talk about sex, drugs, and alcohol. The participants are empowered with evidence-based information to make informed health and sexual health decisions.  Don’t miss out!  Get Real!!  Get SMART!!!

Follow us @GetSmartBmore.


A community coming together to support health


Its black history month- a time to reflect on great achievements and the great progress of African Americans. Black people are a minority group that has experienced many struggles in the United
States. Yet, they have overcome these adverse conditions and have risen above these challenges. From great inventors like: Garrett Morgan, who invented world changing inventions, such as the traffic light and gas mask, to Rosa Parks whose brave example of  a civil rights leader made African Americans proud of their heritage. And let’s not forget, our president is black!

Over the past 20 years, Blacks have seen great improvement in health.  According to a report by the American Cancer Society, black men have seen the greatest decrease in cancer death rates during that time due to a decline in smoking.  Men aged 40-49 saw a 55% decrease in cancer deaths and other age groups also saw significant reductions!   The link between smoking and cancer in all racial groups is clear but in order to thrive as African Americans, we must continue to move toward a steady decline in tobacco use.

Everyone knows it is not easy to quit but with support and motivation, it is possible.

50th Anniversary of the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking & Health


You may be asking, who is the Surgeon General, what is this report? and why do I care about what it says?

The surgeon general is the “nation’s doctor”, appointed by the president to provide Americans with the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and reduce the risk of illness and injury. The acting surgeon general is is currently Dr. Boris Lushniak.

The Surgeon General submits an annual report on significant public health trends, research and plans to improve health. Guess what’s headlining this year’s report? You guessed right if you said “The Health Consequences of Smoking— 50 Years of Progress.”

Smoking has caused more than 20 million deaths since 1964, countless diseases, and billions in financial costs but we have made progress. Adult smoking rates have fallen from 43% in 1965 to 18% today. However, the fight against smoking and its consequences are not over.

In order, to reduce smoking rates, the U.S. government has taken many steps. Increasing the cost of cigarettes has proven to be one of the most effective ways to prevent smoking. In 2009, the Federal tax on cigarettes was raised by 62¢ & may be raised another 94¢ in 2014.  In Maryland, “health advocates propose that the legislature consider another $1 increase in the cigarette tax. The goal: to create a smoke-free future and eliminate the death and disease caused by tobacco products.

There is still a lot to do in the battle against smoking and CEASE is fully prepared to join the fight.

We want to know what you think about the potential tax increase on tobacco products in efforts to prevent tobacco use. To participate in our poll question, click on this link:

(The link will be on the right side of the CEASE homepage.)

To see the Surgeon General’s report or learn more about tobacco taxes in Maryland, click on the links below:

Poll results are in….

pollIn December, we launched our first poll and the poll results are in! A big thank you to all who took the time to vote and make their voice heard. Congratulations to Lori M. from Rising Sun, who won a $15 gift card to Café Jovial for participating in the poll.

We wanted to find out if you think the legal age to purchase tobacco should be raised to 21. 75% of you guys said yes and 25% said no. In the democracy we live in, it’s possible this initiative can actually be signed into law.  There have been multiple research studies showing that tobacco is harmful and we need to put laws in place to prevent its negative effects.

If you didn’t get a chance to participate in the previous poll, vote in our February poll!

Our new poll question for February is:

 Look out for our next blog about the surgeon general’s statement about increasing taxes on tobacco products.