Tobacco control is the work of many
We are one of many statewide partners, including concerned citizens, legislators, health advocates, community and social service organizations, tobacco coalitions, hospitals and local businesses, working to reduce the burden of tobacco and nicotine on Vermonters. As an extension of our department, 12 local health offices are located around the state and support individuals and communities at the local level.
Get to Know our Partners
This group works closely with our grantees and other partners, community leaders and legislators to promote and implement programs and policies that reduce tobacco use in Vermont. Specifically, they’re pivotal in passing smoke-free and other tobacco prevention laws, tobacco taxes and other policies.
Learn more about the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont
Vermont’s Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative was a partnership of Vermont colleges, universities, community coalitions and the Vermont Department of Health to support the health of our communities of higher learning. Through this initiative, all public colleges and universities, and nearly all private colleges in Vermont, are now smoke-free.
Learn more about Vermont’s Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative
We fund approximately 15 tobacco control and prevention community grantees. These coalitions work with various partners, such as schools, healthcare organizations, state and local government, nonprofits, businesses and media, to prevent and reduce tobacco use and exposure in their communities. Through their efforts, strong tobacco-free social norms have been shaped and protective measures passed. The coalitions serve Vermonters all around the state.
Some examples of grantee initiatives include:
- Working with towns to make public places, multi-unit housing, parks and beaches smoke-free
- Collaborating with youth groups to educate communities about the impact the tobacco and vape industries have on youth and young adults
- Promoting the benefits of passing ordinances and updating town plans and zoning districts to reduce the impact of tobacco in local communities
- Helping businesses and behavioral health facilities incorporate tobacco-free policies
- Collaborating with underserved populations, such as BIPOC and LGBTQ people, to make sure their voices are heard and represented
Over the past two decades, our program has partnered with the Agency of Education to support the local chapters of Our Voices Xposed (OVX), for high school-aged youth leaders, and Vermont Kids Against Tobacco (VKAT), for middle school youth leaders.
Some OVX and VKAT accomplishments:
- Enosburg OVX members, in collaboration with their local tobacco coalition, led an initiative to make the town’s parks smoke and e-cigarette-free.
- Organized grassroots events designed to bring attention to the problem of tobacco advertising in their communities
- Presented to legislators on the benefits of restrictions that are proven to reduce youth tobacco initiation at an annual State House Rally
- Created youth-focused 802Quits bags for their peers needing assistance to quit vaping and other forms of tobacco use. Learn more about the work of OVX and VKAT projects in these presentations
Learn more about the work of OVX and VKAT projects in these presentations.
We collaborate with local chapters of national organizations that support tobacco control and prevention through research, resources, practice improvement and advocacy.
We also partner with the Agency of Human Services and others to address tobacco-related disparities.
As an example, we worked with the Department of Vermont Health Access (DVHA) to provide reimbursements for counseling provided by clinicians and tobacco treatment specialists, including referrals to 802quits.org.
Via this partnership, information was mailed directly to health care providers and to people insured by Medicaid, resulting in higher quit tool orders and increased calls to the Vermont Quitline. From 2013 to 2018, the proportion of ever smokers who became former smokers in the past year (Quit Ratio) more than doubled, while smoking declined from 36% to 29% among Medicaid-insured adults. This includes a 2% decline in smoking between 2017 and 2018 alone. In 2019, VT was expected to save $12 million dollars in Medicaid spending as a result of the 2% absolute decline in smoking from 2017 to 2018.
Additionally, we meet regularly with our state and local government partners to share information, research and data, provide trainings and materials, explore health care policy and tailor outreach.
We regularly partner with:
- Local health offices, including the WIC program
- Agency of Education
- Department of Vermont Health Access (DVHA)
- Department of Mental Health
- Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL)
- Department of Liquor and Lottery
- Department of Taxes
- Office of the Attorney General
- Outright Vermont
- Vermont Care Partners
- Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP)
- Vermont Cares Partners
- Vermont Cooperative for Practice Improvement & Innovation
- Vermont Afterschool
We collaborate with several community-based organizations to reach populations that are especially vulnerable to the health impacts of tobacco or have above average rates of tobacco use. Working with organizations that have an established relationship and direct access to certain populations allow us to better serve all Vermonters.
Our partners have included:
- The Pride Center, which works to support the health of the LGBTQ community. Learn more about the Pride Center and its work, plus the important efforts strengthening the network and health of LGBTQ youth at Outright Vermont.
- The AHS Abenaki Equity Workgroup, which provides important input and recommendations to the Tobacco Program’s work, including campaign messaging on commercial tobacco.
- NAACP Windham County, which helps reach the BIPOC community and reduces community health disparities related to tobacco exposure.
- The USCRI VT Field Office (formerly known as the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program), which works with New Americans and refugees coming into the state and links to wellness resources, including 802Quits. Discover more about USCRI’s work in Vermont.
- Regional planning and zoning committees across the state, that can help influence community and town planning and design to keep areas free of smoke and tobacco.
- Green Mountain Advocates, which provide technical assistance and training to improve the accessibility of the Tobacco Program’s materials and meetings.