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Colorado Smoking Cessation Program Targets Hispanics

An anti-smoking campaign in Colorado that involves door-to-door counseling in low-income Hispanic neighborhoods has cost hundreds// of thousands of dollars and "is raising questions about whether different strategies are needed" for smoking cessation efforts among minorities, the Denver Rocky Mountain News reports.

Colorado in 2005 approved a tobacco tax increase, which so far directed $61 million to smoking cessation programs. Of that total, $5 million is earmarked for smoking cessation among populations with slightly or significantly higher smoking rates, such as Asians and Hispanics. In Colorado, 23% of Hispanics smoke, compared with 16% of whites.

In the door-to-door effort -- a collaboration of the American Lung Association of Colorado, the Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance and Community Research Education and Awareness, a private company -- a team goes to low-income Spanish-speaking neighborhoods to visit homes randomly, determine if a smoker lives in the household and then offer counseling if needed. The team will return to that home as many as five times for follow-up counseling.

To date, the program has reached about one-fifth of 1% of the state's 650,000 Hispanic households and has spent $200,000. Other smoking cessation programs in Colorado spend less per person than the door-to-door effort, according to the Rocky Mountain News. A 15-member review committee of the State Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership has said it will examine the program's spending.

Source-Kaiser Family Foundation

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