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American Lung Association of Nevada Receives $150,000 Grant from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation to Help Nevada's Youth Stay Smoke-Free
Date:11/11/2008

Grant will support the American Lung Association of Nevada's efforts to prevent youth from smoking and help youth who already smoke - to quit

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Lung Association (ALA) of Nevada is pleased to announce that it has received a grant in the amount of $150,000 from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, the charitable giving arm of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Grant funds will reduce youth tobacco use through the expansion and continuation of two of the ALA's effective youth prevention and cessation programs -- Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU) and Not on Tobacco (N-O-T).

"It is vital that we reach out to preteens and teens before they start smoking. This is definitely the age group that is at the highest risk. Most people who smoke are smoking by the age of 14 and it is a serious addiction that is very difficult to beat. Tobacco use is a major cause of preventable deaths in the United States," said Allison Newlon Moser, executive director for the American Lung Association of Nevada.

The American Lung Association offers two copyrighted programs to Nevada youth. Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU) focuses on educating youth early about the dangers of tobacco use. Through the Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU) program, high school students use a peer-led model to teach elementary students to avoid tobacco. These interactive presentations focus on the effects of tobacco, peer pressure and tobacco advertising, and the positive aspects of being tobacco free.

"Thanks in large part to the generous support of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, we will be able to train more than 700 Nevada teenage educators who will then educate more than 25,000 elementary and middle school students across our state about the harmful effects of tobacco using this powerful tobacco prevention program," said Newlon Moser.

The second program to be funded by Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield's grant - Not on Tobacco or "NOT" -- helps teens who have already started smoking to quit through a state of the art cessation program designed specifically for teenagers.

"No doubt about it, smoking causes cancer, emphysema and heart disease and shortens one's life by a decade or more. Yet, Nevada's teens are still choosing to smoke in record numbers," said Mike Murphy, president, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Nevada. "All Nevadans want to see better long-term health outcomes for their youngest and most vulnerable citizens. Anthem believes this grant to the ALA will deter Nevada youth from taking up the smoking habit and give addicted smokers the tools they need to quit and to stay smoke-free."

The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation supports not-for-profit organizations whose projects and programs align with the Foundation's key initiatives, which include working to reduce the number of uninsured Americans and promoting Healthy Generations, a program to improve public health outcomes in communities across the nation. Tobacco cessation is one of the Foundation's articulated giving targets.

American Lung Association of Nevada

The mission of the American Lung Association of Nevada (ALAN) is to prevent lung disease and promote lung health for individuals throughout Nevada. ALAN is a statewide organization with offices in Reno and Las Vegas. ALAN is a local affiliate of the American Lung Association (ALA), which is the oldest, voluntary, non-profit health organization in the United States.

ALAN has been improving the lives of Nevadans since 1916 when it was founded as the Nevada Tuberculosis Association to combat the devastating disease of tuberculosis (TB). Although the focus of the organization has changed due to its successful work in almost completely eradicating TB, ALAN has remained constant in the fight against lung diseases and the promotion of lung health. Lung disease is the fourth leading cause of death in America and ALAN is often the first point of contact for individuals with lung disease. ALAN provides practical help and education to people living with asthma, emphysema, and other lung diseases, confronting this disease at the root level by educating kids about the dangers of smoking, providing smoking cessation programs, advocating for smoke-free environments, and working to reduce air pollution.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation

Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation promotes Anthem's inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to reduce the number of uninsured as well as organizations and nonprofit charities that promote the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation is an affiliate of the WellPoint Foundation. To learn more about the WellPoint Foundation please visit http://www.wellpointfoundation.org

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Nevada:

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Rocky Mountain Hospital and Medical Service, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. (R)ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Nevada is available at http://www.anthem.com.


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SOURCE American Lung Association of Nevada
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