• Community-based approaches to reduce chronic disease disparities in Georgia

      Rollins, Latrice; Akintobi, Tabia Henry; Hermstad, April; Cooper, Dexter; Goodin, Lisa; Beane, Jennifer; Spivey, Sedessie; Riedesel, Amy; Taylor, Olayiwola; Lyn, Rodney; et al. (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Among underserved and racial/ethnic minority populations in Georgia, there are profound health disparities and a burden of chronic diseases. Such diseases, which are preventable, are influenced by risk factors, including poor nutrition, physical inactivity, lack of quality health care, and tobacco use and exposure. Awardees of the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) and Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) are implementing community-based initiatives using evidence-based, policy, systems, and environmental approaches to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities and the chronic disease burden in underserved urban and rural Georgia communities. Methods: Within the context of a social ecological framework, the REACH and PICH awardees selected interventions. Their impact in the areas of tobacco use and exposure, chronic disease prevention and management, and nutrition are described. Results: To date, the interventions of Georgia’s PICH and REACH awardees have reached approximately 805,000 Georgia residents. Conclusions: By implementing strategies for community-based policy, systems, and environmental improvement, Georgia’s PICH and REACH awardees are reducing tobacco use and exposure; increasing access to healthy foods; and providing chronic disease prevention, risk reduction, and management opportunities for underserved communities in urban and rural Georgia communities. Their efforts to address chronic disease risk factors at various social and ecological levels are contributing to a reduction in racial/ethnic health disparities and the chronic disease burden in Georgia.
    • E-cigarette use among undergraduate liberal arts and health sciences students: A study protocol

      Dicks, Vivian; Stone, Rebecca; Georgia Regents University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2015)
      Background: Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are battery operated devices that deliver nicotine as an inhaled vapor. Use of E-cigarettes has gained in popularity since 2007, and their use is often promoted as a safer alternative to tobacco smoking. A concern among public health experts is whether e-cigarettes can be used as an alternative method for tobacco cessation or whether they lead to nicotine dependence and use of other tobacco products. Several studies have shown a higher prevalence of use of e-cigarettes among young adults between the ages of 18 and 25, but varying results on the association between their use and perceptions of harm. For the present survey, this age group was selected because, in this group, addiction to tobacco and the likelihood for adverse effects would be lower. Thus, for this group, the chances of not starting or consideration for quitting would be higher. The purpose of this study is to investigate the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about using tobacco products, smoking, and e-cigarettes among undergraduate students on liberal arts and health sciences campuses of a university. Methods: Participants will be invited via email and directed to a secure website where the survey can be completed anonymously. To assess knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs, the survey will include validated questions based on recommendations by the World Health Organization ((2000) appendix A)). Anticipated Results: We anticipate that the results will show an improvement in the behavioral aspect among undergraduates at the liberal arts and health sciences campuses. We also expect that results will show an improvement in knowledge among liberal arts students but less improvement in knowledge for health sciences students. Finally, we predict an overall improvement in attitudes about tobacco use and e-cigarette use.