Smoke-Free Knoxville Invites New Members

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Smoke-Free Knoxville Invites New Members

Posted: 07/20/2012
The Smoke-Free Knoxville Coalition is hosting a membership recruitment and orientation breakfast on Wednesday, July 25, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the Ijams Nature Center Miller Building, 2915 Island Home Avenue, Knoxville. Smoke-Free Knoxville's mission is to empower the community to reduce death, disease, disability and financial impact related to the use of tobacco. Any individual or organization - especially those who work with young people - interested in joining the organization is invited to attend the breakfast. Please RSVP to 865-215-5170 or michael.thomas@knoxcounty.org.

New to this year's meeting is the introduction of the Dr. Peter Carter Award, to be presented to the group or individual having demonstrated leadership in tobacco prevention in the community. Dr. Carter was a noted oncologist on the forefront of the fight against Big Tobacco for Knox County. In 1993, Dr. Carter convened a group of community volunteers to call on local restaurants to ban smoking in their establishments. The group quickly grew to more than 80 members, and became the Greater Knoxville Coalition on Smoking OR Health. In March 1994, Dr. Carter testified before the Congressional Subcommittee on Health and the Environment, and spoke about the toll of tobacco on its users, the impact of second-hand smoke, and the questionable practices of the tobacco industry. Largely due to the groundwork Dr. Carter and Smoke-Free Knoxville provided in the early 1990's, Tennessee establish the Nonsmokers' Protection Act of 2007, making many public places like restaurants and certain worksites smoke-free.

Smoke-Free Knoxville will focus its efforts in the upcoming year on young people and their relationship to tobacco products, how to educate them on the dangers of using tobacco, and implementing proven programs toward that goal. Other agenda items include a short presentation about the organization's operations and a brief overview of its history.

With a vision of "Independence from Tobacco," Smoke-Free Knoxville is committed to the prevention and reduction of tobacco use using a comprehensive approach to positively impact the community. The coalition was formed in 1993 and is comprised of interested community members and representatives from more than 25 area agencies and hospitals. Since 1994, Knox County Health Department has dedicated a full-time employee to tobacco prevention and use reduction. In 1999, the Smoke-Free Knoxville Coalition wrote the Tobacco Use Prevention and Reduction plan for Knox County making Knox County the first County in Tennessee to have a Tobacco Use Prevention and Reduction Plan.