The fight for clean air in South Carolina | Air Pollution | Determinants Of Health

Failing air standards call Charleston to action Provided by the Coastal Conservation League The partnership of the South

Carolina African American Tobacco Control Network (SCATN), Smoke-Free Action Network and the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League announced recently that it received an initial $50,000 planning grant to develop “In Defense of Clean Air – Indoors and Out,” a comprehensive program to increase support for local smoke-free ordinances and to reduce harmful outdoor air pollution in South Carolina. This initiative is one of 12 projects supported by Tobacco Policy Change: A Collaboration for Healthier Communities and States, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). “This funding will help South Carolina citizens breathe clean air everywhere,” said Diane Wilson, executive director of SCATN. “All of the partners are extremely grateful to receive funding in support of this unique collaboration to achieve our common goal of improving the health of our communities through clean air, indoors and out.” In its annual State of the Air report for 2007, the American Lung Association gave Charleston County a failing grade of “F” for the amount of particle pollution in its air. Asthma and bronchitis are the leading cause of hospitalizations for children in South Carolina. Air pollution is one of the leading factors in causing and exacerbating these major health risks. “Too many of our citizens are needlessly suffering from lung and heart diseases that could be prevented by cleaning up the air,” said Dr. William Prioleau, a retired cardio-thoracic surgeon living in Charleston. “The Tobacco Policy Change Program has pioneered effective strategies for improving the public’s health,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., RWJF president and CEO. “We expect that this new partnership between conservation and health organizations will help people in South Carolina live longer, healthier lives through these efforts.” Today’s announcement marks the fourth round and a total of $12 million of funding for the Foundation’s Tobacco Policy Change initiative. Previous funding supported policy advocacy to reduce tobacco use and exposure in communities, regions and states. This year, RWJF has expanded the scope of the initiative to promote tobacco and other public health policies that help people lead healthier lives. This includes policies that provide access to healthy foods, increase physical activity, reduce the number of uninsured, and address other pressing public health needs in communities. For more information on the work of the South Carolina smoke-free campaign, visit www.FreshAirEverywhere.org, and for more information on the Coastal Conservation League, visit coastalconservationleague.org. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.

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