Mission & Goals

Executive Summary

CEASE (Communities Engaged in Advocating for a Smoke-free Environment) aims to reduce tobacco use and partner with other initiatives to promote healthy living in Southwest Baltimore. CEASE provides smoking cessation treatment and prevention activities, disseminates data and information, and engages in public advocacy. In an effort to educate, encourage, and excite residents to choose healthier ways of living.

In Southwest Baltimore (SWB), 69% of adult males and 49% of adult females self-report as regular smokers, as opposed to 19% statewide and 11% in Maryland’s wealthiest county. CEASE arose in 2008 from a partnership between members of the Southwest Baltimore community and Morgan State University’s Center for Health Disparities Solutions (CHDS), with a research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a community-based smoking cessation initiative where the need is urgent. CEASE uses an approach called Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR). CBPR places the consumer in the driver’s seat for the entire research process: defining the problem, designing, implementing, evaluating, refining the project, and sharing what is learned. For two years, CEASE has been serving the SWB community and building a well-organized system of treatment, education and advocacy. It is managed entirely by a Community-based Advisory Board (CAB). This Strategic Plan is intentionally ambitious, seeking the following goals with a carefully designed set of activities.

Goal One: Cessation.

Provide interventions to increase smoking cessation in the SWB community Phase I of smoking cessation treatment is complete and will be carefully evaluated to study both process (how successfully it was delivered and utilized) and outcomes (how the intervention affected smoking behaviors). Phase II, including both treatment and aftercare, will be planned and ready to begin by June 2011. Phase II will include the development of a team of SWB residents trained in smoking cessation to do street and house-to-house outreach, recruiting smokers into the program. It will also include partnerships that promote and provide programs that encourage healthy choices, such as good nutrition, exercise, and abstention from addictive alcohol and drug use. Evaluation reports for both Phases, will be presented to the CAB, including slide show presentations and articles manuscript for publication.

Goal Two: Prevention.

Decrease smoking initiation among members of the SWB community CEASE will increase awareness among children and adults in Southwest Baltimore with educational programs in schools and other community centers and a Youth Movement. All events will use resources (see Goal 4), curricula, and activities designed by the young people, in schools, on the streets, and in community centers to encourage young people never to start using tobacco. Prevention workshops and Youth Movement activities will raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco, strategies the tobacco industry uses to addict people to its products, and opportunities to participate in anti-smoking activities. CEASE will also partner with others to encourage related healthy choices, such as good nutrition, exercise, and abstention from addictive alcohol and drug use.

Goal Three: Understand tobacco use.

Gather, analyze, organize information to increase community understanding of tobacco use CEASE staff and committee members will collect data relevant to an understanding of tobacco behaviors, including factors determining (inhibiting and/or encouraging) tobacco use and quitting behaviors in SWB community. These data will be analyzed, organized and collected in a database that is accessible and useful to community residents. A tracking system will be developed and monitored that keeps current with trends in tobacco use and cessation. CEASE will partner with other health-related initiatives, such as Southwest Cares and the Executive Round-table, to create and maintain the health monitoring system.

Goal Four: Provide relevant, useful and powerful information to the community.

Develop and disseminate health information resources for the SWB community; continue health promotion and dissemination of information that increases understanding of smoking and smoking behaviors, as well as related health choices CEASE will develop a media center to make information available to community residents and institutions. Information will focus on tobacco and other healthy living choices, such as good nutrition, exercise, abstinence from drugs and alcohol. Materials will include: quarterly health and nutrition newsletter; poster, banners, fliers; advertisements for CEASE, cessation treatment, workshops, events; Photovoice, a youth-driven project using images to document conditions and simulate action; street theater based on a “clear the air” message. CEASE will share resources with other initiatives, local community groups, schools, health clinics, churches and other community-based entities. CEASE will also partner with others to hold an annual Healthy Living Summit and train-the-trainers workshops.

Goal 5: Strengthen policies.

Advocate for stronger policies and their enforcement to promote smoke-free environment and availability of cessation support in SWB CEASE will work to create several smoke-free zones through SWB, such as parks, bus stops, or other outdoor spaces, with healthy living messages. A new legislative sub-committee will work for new laws at both City and State levels, including: 1) decrease visibility of smoking advertisements in tobacco-selling establishments, particularly away from children’s view; 2) no tobacco sales within 300 feet of schools; 3) restrict entry for minors into tobacco-selling establishments. Additional priorities will be identified through Photovoice and the Healthy Living Summit. CEASE will also partner with other smoking cessation/prevention lobbying groups and build public will and relationships, to hold an annual legislative breakfast and educate policymakers throughout the year.

Goal 6: Partner for sustainability.

Create/sustain financial and organizational structures to sustain the public will and capacity to achieve common goals of healthy living in SWB The CAB will consider two avenues to sustainability: a long-term healthy living consortium with other health-related initiatives and/or develop new resources to fund CEASE as a 501(c)(3). Relationships will be developed with other organizations, such as Executive Round-table and Southwest Cares, decisions will be made, and a sustainability plan developed by September 2011. Sustainability also rests on a strong, representative, and effective CAB, accountable to the community, with at least 12 members, of whom greater than 60% will be community residents, and for whom a 75% attendance record will be required.

Goal 7: Create a replicable model for smoking cessation.

Develop and disseminate a national community-based smoking cessation model CEASE will use its data and evaluations to develop a clear model for community-based smoking cessation/prevention initiatives. The CAB will work with all of the CEASE committees, using evaluation
reports, to build a replicable and clear model for dissemination by January 2013. CEASE staff and volunteers will meet with community leaders and professionals in interested communities in Baltimore and other regions, in order to develop replication opportunities and resources.