ADPH seeks RFP for tobacco education among African Americans

Published 11:39 pm Monday, May 8, 2023

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is looking for entities to share health information with African Americans who use tobacco products.

Requests for proposals (RFP) to operate under up to $50,000 per a two year timeframe are being accepted through May 15,2023.

“Since African American communities are heavily targeted by tobacco advertising, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering a five-year grant to promote health changes among those same communities,” said Nicole Lovvorn, tobacco prevention and control branch director, bureau of prevention, promotion and support with ADPH.

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On its website, the CDC reports tobacco advertising companies, since the 1950’s ,have targeted Black communities with advertisements.

“Marketing plays a big role in whether people try or use commercial tobacco products. Being around commercial tobacco ads makes smoking appear more appealing and increases the chance that someone will try smoking for the first time or start using commercial tobacco products on a regular basis:”

  • Neighborhoods and areas with more African American residents tend to have more stores that sell tobacco.
  • Tobacco companies promote and advertise at community events in majority-Black neighborhoods.
  • Tobacco companies advertise more heavily in stores whose customers are mostly African American people.
  • Tobacco companies use price promotions such as discounts and multi-pack coupons—which are most often used by African American people and other minority groups, women, and young people—to increase sales.
  • Tobacco companies support cultural events designed to draw in certain groups in the Black community. One recent campaign targeted at Black young adults involved pop-up concerts featuring hip-hop artists in convenience stores.”  (Source: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/health-equity/african-american/unfair-and-unjust.html)

Delia Hasberry, community outreach coordinator with the Wellness Coalition of Alabama, said that her group has worked to stem smoking in the Black Belt region.

“We have gone into communities and handed out surveys, spoken with elected officials, and groups including the American Heart and Lung Association, regarding tobacco use in African American communities,” Hasberry stated.

Hasberry said that when talking with residents, some of the survey responses were directly related to advertising.

“Many of the residents spoke about how and where tobacco products are placed in stores, and they also mentioned commercials they had seen involving tobacco products,” she said.

According to the ADPH website, tobacco use and dependency and second hand smoke exposure is higher among some population groups including among African Americans. In the United States, annually, 480,000 people die from smoking including more than 41,000 Americans dying of secondhand smoke.

Lovvorn said the scope of work required by the grant recipient will be to work with a local coalition, to conduct needs assessments, and collaborate with partners to develop plans to improve health equity.

“Eligible applicants include all public or private non-profit organizations, government agencies, faith-based organizations, colleagues, and universities,” Lovvorn stated.

 A copy of the RFP can be downloaded at https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/tobacco/index.html or an e-mail or written request, on agency letterhead stationary may be sent to:Nicole Lovvorn nicole.lovvorn@adph.state.al.us or mailed to: Bureau of Prevention Promotion and Support, RSA Tower, Suite 900, 201 Monroe Street., Montgomery, AL 36104.